THE ROLE OF THE MEDIA IN DEVELOPING AND PERPETUATING HOMOPHOBIA, JAN BRIDGET

* The media (television, newspapers, radio, magazines, advertising) is extremely influential in perpetuating people's attitudes and beliefs.

* The media perpetuates a stigmatised homosexual identity by:

a. Invisibility - not challenging negative images

b. Portraying negative images/stereotypes

 

* The media ignores issues which are important to homosexuals (e.g. over a million people took part in a Gay Rights march in the U.S.A. but the media ignored it.)

 

* There have been more positive images on BBC2 and Channel 4 recently but most people watch BBC1 and ITV.

 

* Language i.e. words used as put downs (sissy); comedians.

 

* Not taken seriously or acknowledged oppression; rare serious films, articles and when serious programmes are shown it is usually about Gay men (white and middle class).

 

* Television is not used to challenge homophobia like it challenges racism and ableism (e.g. there is no Lesbian and Gay Programme Unit like the Disability Programme Unit, Race Programme Unit).

©J. Bridget/Lesbian Information Service, 1996