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Male-Female relationships in best-selling “modern Gothic” novels

Abstract

This study is a content analysis of 24 randomly selected best-selling “modern Gothic” or “romantic suspense” novels published between 1950 and May 1974. The focus was on the interrelationships between the male and female characters in terms of their sex-role characterization and the attitudes and behavior of the hero towards the heroine and the supporting female actor. The findings indicate that (1) the hero displays more positive attitudes and behavior toward the nontraditional woman (generally the heroine) than towards the traditional one (generally the minor female) and (2) the hero who chooses the less traditional female is usually characterized as traditional.

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Response Analysis Corporation

The authors wish to express their gratitude to William Diggins for his assistance in the coding and analysis of the male characters.

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Weston, L.C., Ruggiero, J.A. Male-Female relationships in best-selling “modern Gothic” novels. Sex Roles 4, 647–655 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00287330

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Keywords

  • Social Psychology
  • Content Analysis
  • Positive Attitude
  • Heroine
  • Female Character