Images of gay men in the media and the development of self esteem

McKee, Alan (2000) Images of gay men in the media and the development of self esteem. Australian Journal of Communication, 27 2: 81-98.

Author McKee, Alan
Title Images of gay men in the media and the development of self esteem
Journal name Australian Journal of Communication   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0811-6202
Publication date 2000
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 27
Issue 2
Start page 81
End page 98
Total pages 18
Editor Roslyn Petelin
Place of publication St. Lucia, QLD, Australia
Publisher University of Queensland
Collection year 2000
Language eng
Subject C1
420304 Screen and Media Culture
420303 Culture, Gender, Sexuality
751004 The media
Formatted abstract
This paper addresses the role played by the media in the formation of social identity and self-esteem in young gay men. Semi-structured, open-ended interviews were conducted with a small number of gay men in Perth, Western Australia, in order to investigate their memories of television images of gay men, and the impact these images had an them. The men were interviewed either individually or in couples. These interviews were used far qualitative analysis. The research discovered that the media were by far the most important source of information about gay identity for these men in their youth. Mast could recall very few images of homosexual men. However, those few images-mostly from fictional programs-were remembered as having a very strong impact, particularly in making the men feel happier with themselves and their feelings, providing information, and offering identities to which they could aspire. The paper concludes that the media-including fictional television programs-should acknowledge the vital role they play in creating a sense of what is normal and accepted in the Australian community, and thus in forming the self-esteem and social identities of Australian citizens. As such, they also need to recognise their potential role in overcoming the law self-esteem and suicidal tendencies of young gay men in Australia. It seems that in attempts to lower the rates of suicide attempts in young gay men, fictional entertainment media may have an important role to play.
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies Publications
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Created: Tue, 10 Jun 2008, 12:35:13 EST