Bufkin, J., & Eschholz, S. (2000). Images of sex and rape: A content analysis of popular film. Violence Against Women, 6 (12), 1317-1344.

Abstract: Notes that Americans are spending increasingly greater portions of their leisure time consuming audiovisual forms of media, such as movies and television. Given the regularity of media consumption and the assumption of its influence on the perceptions of viewers, the authors suggest that it is important to study the content of media programming. In this study, a content analysis of the 50 top-grossing films in 1996 to measure the prevalence and nature of sex and rape depictions is conducted. Each of three trained coders watched each of the 50 films. Coders identified the genre of the film, the type of audience to which the film was directed, and whether the movie contained any sex scenes. If sex scenes existed coders were also asked to identify several other variables including the type of sex occurring (e.g., consensual or rape). Findings show that movies present a rather patriarchal vision of sex and rape. It was found that rapes in the movies are committed by sadistic, disturbed, lower-class individuals who prey on children and the vulnerable. This unidimensional movie picture of rape may help to perpetuate the real problem of rape and sexual abuse in our society by ignoring the reality of most real life rapes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)