<%BANNER%>

Correlations Between Media Use and Attitudes Toward Homosexuality

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0043065/00001

Material Information

Title: Correlations Between Media Use and Attitudes Toward Homosexuality
Physical Description: 1 online resource (59 p.)
Language: english
Creator: WEINBRENNER,DONALD C
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2011

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: ATTITUDES -- GSS -- HOMOSEXUALITY -- INTERNET -- TOLERANCE -- YOUTUBE
Sociology and Criminology & Law -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Sociology thesis, M.A.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Representations of marginalized minorities in the mass media are frequently conveyed in relation to existing stereotypes. This often gives members of marginalized groups a hegemonic view of themselves that they must combat against. New media technologies give individuals the opportunity to create and distribute their own messages, potentially undermining the mass produced stereotypes that pervade broadcast media. This potential is important, since attitudes toward marginalized groups are closely connected to the way in which they are treated by larger society. For homosexuals, this could mean legally being denied the same rights as other individuals, or being the victims of emotional and physical attack from other members of society. To compare the difference of effects between new and old media, I use data from the 2006 General Social Survey to create an OLS linear regression model that examines whether television and internet use have an impact on tolerance toward homosexuality, net of demographic factors (education and income) and ideological factors (religiosity and conservatism). Interaction terms are also introduced in order to examine the relationship between two concepts: the digital divide and increased critical thinking as a result of higher education. Content analysis of YouTube? videos and comments are used to identify trends in new media content and audience reaction to it. I also provide recommendations for future research in order to address some of the shortcomings of this study.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by DONALD C WEINBRENNER.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.)--University of Florida, 2011.
Local: Adviser: Gattone, Charles F.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2013-04-30

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2011
System ID: UFE0043065:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0043065/00001

Material Information

Title: Correlations Between Media Use and Attitudes Toward Homosexuality
Physical Description: 1 online resource (59 p.)
Language: english
Creator: WEINBRENNER,DONALD C
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2011

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: ATTITUDES -- GSS -- HOMOSEXUALITY -- INTERNET -- TOLERANCE -- YOUTUBE
Sociology and Criminology & Law -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Sociology thesis, M.A.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Representations of marginalized minorities in the mass media are frequently conveyed in relation to existing stereotypes. This often gives members of marginalized groups a hegemonic view of themselves that they must combat against. New media technologies give individuals the opportunity to create and distribute their own messages, potentially undermining the mass produced stereotypes that pervade broadcast media. This potential is important, since attitudes toward marginalized groups are closely connected to the way in which they are treated by larger society. For homosexuals, this could mean legally being denied the same rights as other individuals, or being the victims of emotional and physical attack from other members of society. To compare the difference of effects between new and old media, I use data from the 2006 General Social Survey to create an OLS linear regression model that examines whether television and internet use have an impact on tolerance toward homosexuality, net of demographic factors (education and income) and ideological factors (religiosity and conservatism). Interaction terms are also introduced in order to examine the relationship between two concepts: the digital divide and increased critical thinking as a result of higher education. Content analysis of YouTube? videos and comments are used to identify trends in new media content and audience reaction to it. I also provide recommendations for future research in order to address some of the shortcomings of this study.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by DONALD C WEINBRENNER.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.)--University of Florida, 2011.
Local: Adviser: Gattone, Charles F.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2013-04-30

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2011
System ID: UFE0043065:00001


This item has the following downloads:


Full Text

PAGE 1

1 CORRELATIONS BETWEEN MEDIA USE AND ATTITUDES TOWARD HOMOSEXUALITY By DONALD WEINBRENNER A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MA STER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011

PAGE 2

2 2011 Donald Weinbrenner

PAGE 3

3 For my parents

PAGE 4

4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank my mother and father who taught me how to view the world critically, and never stopped supporting me. I woul d also lik e to thank my committee, Charles Gattone and Charles Peek. I would not have been able to complete this work without their patience and valuable input. Finally, I would like to thank all of my friends in and out of the department. They have kept me sane and positive throughout this entire process.

PAGE 5

5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 8 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ................................ ................................ ............................. 9 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 12 2 BACKGROUND AND LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ....................... 15 The Culture Industry ................................ ................................ ............................... 16 Perceptions of Homosexuals in Media ................................ ................................ .... 17 Attitudes Toward Homosexuality ................................ ................................ ............ 18 New Media ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 20 3 QUANTITATIVE METHODS ................................ ................................ ................... 23 Hypotheses ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 23 Data ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................ 24 Independent Variables ................................ ................................ ............................ 24 Media Use ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 24 Demographics ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 25 Religiosity ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 26 Conservatism ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 27 Interaction Terms ................................ ................................ ............................. 27 Dep endent Variable ................................ ................................ ................................ 27 Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 28 Results ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 28 Bivariate Associations ................................ ................................ ...................... 29 W wwhr and homosex ................................ ................................ ................. 29 T vhours and homosex ................................ ................................ ............... 29 OLS Regression ................................ ................................ ............................... 30 Model 1 ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 30 Model 2 ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 30 Model 3 ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 30 Model 4 ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 31 Model 5 ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 31

PAGE 6

6 4 QUALITATIVE METHODS ................................ ................................ ...................... 33 Data ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................ 33 Coding ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 34 Hostile ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 34 Hegemonic ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 34 Stereotype ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 34 Counter Stereotype ................................ ................................ .......................... 34 Tolerance ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 35 Language ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 35 Neutral ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 35 Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 35 Results ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 35 Videos ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 35 Tolerance ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 36 Neutral ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 42 Stereotype ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 44 Language ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 45 Counter stereotypes ................................ ................................ .................. 45 Hostile ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 46 Comments ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 48 Tolerant ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 48 Language ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 49 Hostile ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 50 Debate ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 51 Disabled ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 52 5 CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 53 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 55 Future Research ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 55 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................... 57 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ............................ 59

PAGE 7

7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 Bivariate Association Between Hours per Week Spent on Internet and Attitudes Toward Homosexual Sex ................................ ................................ ..... 29 3 2 Bivariate Association Between Hours per Day Watching Television and Attitudes Toward Homosexual Sex ................................ ................................ ..... 29 3 3 Ordinary Least Squares Regression Model for the Effects of Education, Income, Religiosity, Conservatism, and Types of Media Use on Toler ance Toward Homosexuality ................................ ................................ ....................... 32

PAGE 8

8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3 1 Influence of Media Use on the Effect of Demographic and Ideological Factors on Tolera nce Toward Homosexual Sex Relations ................................ .............. 23

PAGE 9

9 LIST OF ABBREVIATION S ATTEND How often respondent attends religious services BIBLE How much respondent believes the bible to be the word of god EDUC Highest level of education obta ined by the respondent EDUCxTVHOURS Interaction between respondent's level of education and time spent watching television GSS General Social Survey HOMOSEX R espondent's attitude toward homosexual sex relations POLVIEWS Respondent's level of conservati sm RINCOME Respondent's annual income RINCOMxWWWHR Interaction between respondent's income and time spent on the internet TVHOURS Hours per day the respondent spends watching television WWWHR H ours per week the respondent spends on the internet

PAGE 10

10 Ab stract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Master of Arts CORRELATIONS BETWEEN MEDIA USE AND ATTITUDES TOWARD HOMOSEXUALITY By Donald Weinbrenner May 2 011 Chair: Charles Gattone Major: Sociology Representations of marginalized minorities in the mass media are frequently conveyed in relation to existing stereotypes. This often gives members of marginalized groups a hegemonic view of themselves that th ey must combat against. New media technologies give individuals the opportunity to create and distribute their own messages, potentially undermining the mass produced stereotypes that pervade broadcast media. This potential is important, since attitudes toward marginalized groups are closely connected to the way in which they are treated by larger society. For homosexuals, this could mean legally being denied the same rights as other individuals, or being the victims of emotional and physical attack from other members of society. To compare the difference of effects between new and old media, I use data from the 2006 General Social Survey to create an OLS linear regression model that examines whether television and internet use have an impact on toleranc e toward homosexuality, net of demographic factors (education and income) and ideological factors (religiosity and conservatism). Interaction terms are also introduced in order to examine the relationship between two concepts: the digital divide and incre ased critical thinking as a result of higher education. Content analysis of YouTube videos and comments are

PAGE 11

11 used to identify trends in new media content and audience reaction to it. I also provide recommendations for future research in order to address some of the shortcomings of this study.

PAGE 12

12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Throughout human history people have reacted and behaved toward one another based upon their differences and their similarities. Past embodiments of this phenomenon can be seen in the restr iction of females to the domestic sphere, relegation of African Americans to slavery, and the attempted genocide of a population such as Jewish people in the concentration camps during World War II. All three of these historical occurrences are, in many w ays, the product of a dominant group's perceptions of various "other" groups. It is not a requirement that these perceptions be held by all members of the dominant group in order for actions such as these to occur as long as those with oppositional viewpo ints are unaware that there are others who think like they do. Media institutions and the images they create provide the tools of choice for the fast and effective dissemination of ideas thanks to its uniformity of message and mass production. Media aid in the creation and maintenance of a "mainstream message," and due to the corporate control found in capitalist society media messages are often developed in concert with the interests of prominent institutions. New media (internet, social networking, etc .), however, may be a way for individuals to create their own messages and spread them quickly among their peers. There is potential in this format to undermine the pervasive illusion of the messages distributed via more traditional avenues, such as mains tream views on the rights of homosexuals. Mainstream messages about homosexuals and their role in society are of increasing importance. These messages shape the views of the members of the larger population, particularly those who have no personal life e xperiences with homosexual

PAGE 13

13 people. Public attitudes and tolerance are very critical now as this marginalized group is currently fighting to gain legal rights equal to those of other citizens, such as the right to marry. While the mainstream, or hegemonic viewpoint toward homosexuality today is no longer one of strong opposition, it is also so tolerant that it seeks to break stereotypes or promote rights as equal citizens. Traditional broadcasts typically portray homosexuals as extreme characters they are often the source of flamboyant comedy or over the top melodrama whose personality is nothing like that of any other human being. However, newer media have the potential to provide the opportunity for members of this marginalized group to produce the ir own content and distribute a message that is more truthful to their existence. Looking at survey data from the General Social Survey, I have run several linear regression models to answer the following questions: 1. Is there an association between tim e spent watching television and attitudes about homosexual sex? 2. Is there an association between time spent on the internet and attitudes about homosexual sex? These models focus on television as a representative for traditional med ia because, unlike radio or newspapers, it provides not only news coverage pertaining to homosexuality, but also fictional narratives and characters through which additional messages can be distributed. When examining these questions it is important to con sider other phenomena that may impact these relationships. The connection between internet use and tolerance toward homosexual sex may be influenced by the digital divide. This is the stratification of access to computer technology based on existing soci oeconomic

PAGE 14

14 divisions found between social classes. Additionally, receiving higher education often helps students develop the skill of critical thinking. This typically gives these individuals the tools to deconstruct institutional messages and may lead th em to turn away from television, given its propensity for stereotyping. Taking these factors into consideration, this study use s interaction terms in its regression models in order to test these additional questions: 1 Is there any association between t ime spent on the internet and attitudes about homosexual sex affected by the digital divide? 2 Is there any association between time spent watching TV and attitudes about homosexua l sex affected by increased critical thinking skills gained through higher educ ation? These statistical analyses only provide trend data pertaining to an interaction between media use and tolerance toward homosexuality. They do not give detailed in formation as to the content that is being created and distributed in this new media environment, the user created messages. In order to fill in these gaps, I have also p erformed a content analysis of YouTube videos that address homosexuality, as well as the comments that go along with these videos. By coding and analyzing the language and behaviors in these videos and comments, this study presents a picture of the internet landscape and how it approaches th e topic of homosexuality.

PAGE 15

15 CHAPTER 2 BACKGROUND AND LITER ATURE REVIEW Theories about traditional media tend to focus on the idea of a one way causal relationship. They posit that institutions craft ideological messages and images that promote and ec onomic system favorable to their position of power. These theories could be said to have a Marxist frame, as they highlight a conflict between the media institutions that have the power to create shape and direct cultural attitudes, and the audience membe rs who are largely of the working class. A key difference is that while Marx believed that the subordinate group, in his case the proletariat, would awaken to their class consciousness and rise up against the power holding class (the bourgeoisie), traditi onal media theorists like Horkheimer and Adorno were not so optimistic about the awakening of audiences within the Culture Industry. This cynicism stems from a problematic assumption made by traditional media theories, one that is harming their signific ance in a new media landscape. Early media theories tended to take the view that audiences are similar to passive sponges that absorb presented messages without much critical thought. If this were the case, we would see little to no resistance toward heg emonic cultural ideas that are presented in traditional media. On the contrary, recent studies looking at user interactions with new media show that some audiences do resist mainstream messages, and employ the increased agentive capacity found in newer me dia to discuss and enact counter hegemonic ideas and behavior. In this new media setting, it makes sense to see idea creation and maintenance as less top down, and more bottom across. As such, instead of employing traditional media theories that use a co nflict of power slant, cultural phenomena in newer media should be analyzed with a perspective heavier in symbolic

PAGE 16

16 interaction. Citizens have more potential power to shape their culture now than previously seen in the days of solely broadcast media. The C ulture Industry In 1944 Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno wrote about a system of institutions that use mass distributed messages to keep the public as docile, yet active, participants in the commodity economy. Broadcast media, such as the radio or the te levision, allow institutions like large corporations or the government to create a fabricated reality that members of the working class want to escape to after their long days at work. Once engrossed by this alternate reality, consumers are bombarded with images and messages about a lifestyle that everyone should want to be a part of, and advertisements for the products that promise to deliver it to them. This perpetuates a system of consumerism that encourages audiences to spend frivolously, thus maintai ning their status in the lower working class and contributing to the disproportionate wealth held by the corporations who produce the messages. This system is predicated on the maintenance of the current social order, and as such, must frame how society s hould approach anything that may threaten to rearrange that order. It is for this reason that most criticism of this system is actually openly welcome, and then absorbed into media that portray it as the object of ridicule and satirical comedy. This th eoretical framework holds up when compared to the actual state of society. Looking specifically at the mass media of the past century, we see large scale distribution of homogenized messages across print, radio, and most notably now television. These ins titutions are largely controlled and operated by companies that lead up to one of very few national or global conglomerates. This does not exclude news broadcast. Within this framework it would make sense to study media under a

PAGE 17

17 structural functionalist o r Marxist conflict viewpoint, as the creation and distribution of mainstream messages is facilitated by institutions that rely on the smooth functioning of the social order, and the maintaining of their position of power. In such a system change is slow and seemingly disembodied from the individual. Major social change occurs only when enough individuals realize a common oppositional viewpoint and rally to gain public attention for their cause. Spreading the word of subcultural causes has historically been difficult, however, due to movements, rallies, etc. being reported by media outlets that are subsidiaries of large institutions. Perceptions of Homosexuals in Media Susan J. Hubert (1999) offered a critical analysis of the episode of Ellen in which El len DeGeneres came out as a lesbian. She noted that the script for the episode was originally rejected because it had to appeal to the large section of the audience that had moderate views on the issue. As such it could not lean to heavily for or against homosexual concerns. Additionally, the lead up to the episode's airing illustrates that perceptions about marginalized groups can precipitate hostile action toward them. This is best observed by the fact that the filming had to be interrupted due to a b omb threat, and Reverend Jerry Falwell warning of retaliation from the moral majority. This demonstrates the importance of marginalized groups fighting against images of them disseminated by mass media institutions. It could be argued that some mass medi a institutions desire not only to control the ways in which homosexuals are portrayed, they also wish to incorporate the gay community into the masses of consumers that support their wealth and power. As with other marginalized groups, advertisers are loo king to turn homosexuals into a profitable market demographic. However, they also need to maintain their marginalized identity

PAGE 18

18 as it is represented by mainstream media. Advertisements try to market to a "gay lifestyle" that is created by oppressive media institutions, and ignore that gay is a characteristic that is not defined by race, class, or gender (Fejes 2001). In his piece Out of the Mainstream: Sexual Minorities and the Mass Media Larry Gross (1995) analyzed the ways in which homosexuals were pr esented in the mainstream media. He observes that because unlike other marginalized groups, like women or race minorities, homosexuals cannot be discerned visibly from other people, the messages found on broadcast media are not damaging to only others' pe rceptions of homosexuals, but also to homosexuals' perceptions of themselves. Since mass media institutions are designed to appeal to the largest possible audience, portrayals of homosexuals have to be based on stereotypes in order to be accepted. These portrayals often involve being the victim of violence or AIDS. Gross closes by saying the best strategy to ensure an accurate depiction of gay values would be to stop being just the consumers of media, and become the producers. This is exactly what is po ssible now with the emergence of new media. This literature on traditional media shows a belief in a largely passive audience. However, when we look toward users' interactions with newer media a level of resistance toward institutional messages can be ob served. This resistance could mean that latent counter cultural ideas are being realized in the wake of these new media technologies, or it could suggest that audiences' relationships to traditional media were never as one way and passive as traditional m edia theory had posited. Attitudes Toward Homosexuality Attitudes toward homosexuals, like with any marginalized group, are not static in either value or enactment. In the United States alone, there have been changes in the

PAGE 19

19 value judgments made on homosex uality. In a study that looked at General Social Survey (GSS) data from 1973 to 1998, Jeni Loftus (2001) examined how changing demographics and cultural shifts affected attitudes toward homosexuality. This study found that the US has become gradually mor e tolerant concerning both the morality of homosexuality and the civil rights that should be afforded to homosexuals. It should be noted that the civil rights measured are the ability to give speeches, teach at universities, and have pro homosexual books they wrote carried in bookstores, not anything like the right to marry. Most notably, Loftus noted that while Americans are more tolerant concerning both morality and the granting of civil liberties, they still overwhelmingly believe that homosexuality is wrong. This distinction is important to consider, as it represents what has become the hegemonic view of homosexuality as of 1998. This lingering sentiment of homosexuality being morally wrong informs the ways in which people interact with the idea of homosexuality. This is illustrated in what C.J. propensity of young men to throw sexual orientation. The word is meant to keep other or lesser than, implies that the speakers of these words hold these attitudes toward homosexuality to some extent. Michael Kimmel (2008) supports this assertion with his look at bullying. He noticed that American teenagers are being picked on and bullied for either being or

PAGE 20

20 seeming g ay. Like Pascoe, he observed that words that denote homosexuality are used to describe things that are stupid, dumb, or wrong. Kimmel explains that based on a CBS poll, gays and lesbians are given hostile treatment more often than straight classmates. T he examples that he looks at also show a perception of homosexuality as opposed to masculinity. This type of attitude implies that to be gay is to not be a man, and thus is wrong. Based on this literature, it is apparent that there are varying views in th e United States regarding homosexuality, but among the mainstream, the tendency is to perceive homosexuals as deserving of certain civil liberties while at the same time seeing homosexuality itself as morally wrong As recently as 1998, this is the hegemo nic view of homosexuality in U.S. society, and this view has informed hostile actions toward homosexuals, particularly adolescents in school. Since hegemonic viewpoints are often informed by cultural messages disseminated through traditional mass media, i t is possible that exposure to non institutional media may provide the opportunity to interact with non hegemonic messages. These would be images and messages that break gay stereotypes and promote tolerance toward homosexuality. New Media The internet h as brought about the rise of new media, allowing the easy creation and mass distribution of individually produced media content. Additionally, social networking has opened an avenue for the easy dissemination of viral messages that have the potential to p ermeate the social consciousness rather quickly. Given the high level of participation in the creation of internet media, knowledge construction in this arena more closely resembles the peer driven nature of face to face interaction than the top down info rmation processing of traditional mass media outlets. As such, it now

PAGE 21

21 would be appropriate to analyze these new communication channels under a symbolic interactionist lens. There is an existing body of literature supporting the idea that the advent of ne w media has allowed a more democratic process of knowledge production that encourages individual participation. For example, in a study by Holt & Copes (2010) researchers relied on interviews to analyze the phenomenon of internet piracy. Respondents were asked about their attitudes and relationship to piracy through the use of the internet. Their discontent with the way media institutions use copyright to control the flow of information and content led them to engage in illegal acts in order have a relat ionship with media that they felt was right. The researchers found that the internet allowed a subcultural movement based on the free flow and access of information to discuss and act upon their counter hegemonic beliefs (Holt & Copes 2010). In anothe r recent study, Rohlinger and Brown conducted and analyzed interviews with members of the MoveOn.org community to see what role the internet played in their activism in a post 9/11 America (2009). The consensus among the participants was that they felt th eir questioning of the government was equally or more patriotic than the nationalist sentiment to go to war, but that they needed the anonymity of the internet to comfortably act on those feelings. Additionally, they said that the resources online helped them be more confident to assemble at activist functions locally. Finally, we can see the raw creation of knowledge on the internet in the Google Earth community after hurricane Katrina. People with an interest in the state of certain New Orleans neig hborhoods after the disaster were not getting the information they needed from major media outlets. As a result, they turned to Google Earth

PAGE 22

22 where they could request information on a certain block or area, and people with the opportunity to do so would take photos and geotag them to the specific coordinates with information blurbs about what was happening (Crutcher & Zook 2009). This is a clear example of individuals taking initiative to use the media production tools at their disposal in order to fill a void left by broadcast outlets. It also illuminates an issue that needs to be addressed when looking at the potential of new media, the digital divide. The map created by the participants in the Crutcher & Zook study had areas where information was no ticeably absent. When compared to a map that showed socioeconomic status data for the areas, it was revealed that these gaps in information were present in the poorer neighborhoods of the region. The economic stratification in the existing order and its effect on access to computer technology subsequently caused a difference of access to vital information about loved ones based on lines of socioeconomic status. My research will be an extension of this existing literature. This study will serve three pur poses. The first being to give a particular case example of how internet use relates to ideas about homosexuals. Second, it will compare the relationship between internet use and counter hegemonic ideas with the correlation between these ideas and instit utional media consumption, specifically television. Lastly, it will test the connections between demographic factors (education and income), ideological factors (religiosity and conservatism), and interaction terms that represent the impact of the digital divide and increased critical thinking gained through higher education.

PAGE 23

23 CHAPTER 3 QUANTITATIVE METHODS Hypotheses The following hypotheses are tested in order to exp lore the relationships seen in F igure 3 1: H1: Increased internet use will predict higher tolerance for homosexual sex relations. H2: Increased television use will predict lower tolerance for homosexual sex relations. H3: The digital divide will have an influence on the effect of internet use on tolerance toward homosexual relations. H4 : Increased critical thinking skills gained from higher education will have an influence on the effect of television use on tolerance toward homosexual sex relation. Figure 3 1. Influence of Media Use on the Effect of Demographic and Ideologica l Factors on Tolerance Toward Homosexual Sex Relations Demographic Factors Income Education Ideological Factors Religiosity Conservatism Media Use Internet Television Tolerance Toward Homosexual Sex Relations

PAGE 24

24 Data The data for this study is taken from the 2006 General Social Survey. The GSS is a survey conducted every two years by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. The surv ey data is collected via face to face interviews with respondents. The sample consists of randomly selected adults ages 18 and older who are non institutionalized United States residents. The 27 samples taken so far have resulted in the collection 53,043 respondents and 5,364 variables. The same questions are not asked for every sample, with some questions coming in and out of circulation from survey to survey. The 2006 GSS had a sample size of 4,510 and a respon se rate of 71.2% and asked respondents 1 ,259 questions. This breadth of questions allows for the analysis of many types of correlations not possible with other datasets. For my analysis I use data collected from variables concerning education, income, religiosity, conservatism, types of media use, and attitudes towards homosexuality. Analyses are run using the SPSS statistical software. Independent Variables This study uses eight independent variables: 2 for media use; 2 for demographics; 1 for religiosity; 1 for conservatism; and 2 interactio n variables. The individual variables and their univariate statistics are described below. Media Use Internet use is measured as the amount of hours per week the respondent spends on the internet ("wwwhr"). This variable's values are directly representat ive of the respondent's answer missing values are coded as 1, 998, and 999. There are 1,791 valid cases for this variable. Univariate statistics show that the variable "wwwhr" has a

PAGE 25

25 mean of 8.91 and a median value of 5. The standard deviation is 11.6 84. The range of recorded values is from a minimum of 0 hours to a maximum of 100 hours. The variable "tvhours" is used to measure how many hours per day the respondent watches television. Like with "wwwhr", the answer values are directly representati ve of the respondent's answer missing data is coded as 1, 98, and 99. This variable has 1,987 valid cases. Univariate statistics show that "tvhours" has a mean of 2.94 and a median of 2. The standard deviation is 2.286. The values range from the min imum of 0 hours to maximum value of 24 hours per day. Demographics Level of education is measured as the highest year of school completed by the respondent ("educ"). As with both of the media use variables, the values for "educ" are directly representativ e of the respondent's answer missing values are coded as 98 and 99. There are 4,499 valid cases for this variable. Univariate statistics show that "educ" has a mean of 13.29 and a median of 13. The standard deviation is 3.229. Additionally it has a m inimum value of 0 years and a maximum value of 20 years. Income is measured as an ordinal variable with ascending values that represent increasing categories of annual income ("rincome"). Values are as follows: 1 = less than $1000; 2 = $1000 2999; 3 7 = one thousand dollar intervals from $3000 to $7999; 8 = $8000 9999; 9 11 = $5000 intervals from $10,000 to $24,999; 12 = $25,000 or more; 13 = Refused. The value 13 = Refused has been recoded as missing data in order to preserve the ordinal nature of the v ariable. Other missing data values are 0, 98, and 99. There are 2,669 valid cases for this variable. Univariate statistics show that "rincome" has a mean of 10.30 and a median value of 12. The standard deviation is

PAGE 26

26 2.875. The values range from a minim um of 1 (less than $1000) and a maximum value of 12 ($25,000 or more). coded as 0, 98, a nd 99. This variable has a mean of 47.14, a median of 46, and a standard deviation of 16.894. The values range between a minimum of 18 and a maximum of 89. This variable has 4,492 valid cases. Religiosity To capture the influence of religiosity, my stud y use s the variable "attend", which measures how often the respondent attends religious services. This is an ordinal variable with the following values: 0 = never; 1 = less than once a year; 2 = once a year; 3 = several times a year; 4 = once a month; 5 = 2 3 times a month; 6 = nearly every week; 7 = every week; 8 = more than once a week; missing values are coded as 9. There are 4,491 valid cases for this variable. Univariate statistics show that the mean is 3.57 and the median is 3. The standard deviat ion is 2.798. The values for "attend" have a range with minimum 0 (never) and maximum 8 (more than once a week). Religiosity is additionally measured by using the variable "bible," which measures how much the respondent believes the bible is the word of g od. This is an ordinal variable with the following values: 1 = word of god; 2 = inspired word; 3 = book of fables. Missing values are coded as 0, 4, 8, and 9. The univariate statistics for "bible" show that the mean is 1.82 and the median is 2. This va riable has a standard deviation of .702. The range for "bible" has a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 3. This variable has 2,870 valid cases.

PAGE 27

27 Conservatism The variable "polviews" measures the respondent's conservatism as an ordinal variable. The values are : 1 = extremely liberal; 2 = liberal; 3 = slightly liberal; 4 = moderate; 5 = slightly conservative; 6 = conservative; 7 = extremely conservative; missing values are coded as 8 and 9. This variable has 4,333 valid cases. Univariate statistics show that polviews" has a mean of 4.12 and a mean of 4. The standard deviation is 1.414. The range of values is between a minimum of 1 (extremely liberal) and a maximum of 7 (extremely conservative). Interaction Terms Digital divide literature shows that inequal ities in socioeconomic status results in a difference of access to computer technology based on social class. My study use s an interaction term for income and time spent on the internet per week in order to capture any effect caused by the digital divide. Additionally, students of higher education are taught critical thinking skills that may make them aware of institutional messages, and thus avoid television as a f ormat. Accordingly, this study use s a second interaction term to measure any effect that t his phenomenon may have. Dependent Variable To measure the effect of the independent variables on tolerance toward homosexuality this study use s "homosex" as its dependent variable. This is an ordinal variable that measures the respondent's attitude towar d how right or wrong sexual activity among homosexuals. The values for this variable are as follow: 1 = always wrong; 2 = almost always wrong; 3 = sometimes wrong; 4 = not wrong at all; missing values are coded as 0, 8, and 9. This variable has 1,908 val id cases. Univariate statistics show that "homosex" has a mean of 2.17, median of 1, and a standard

PAGE 28

28 deviation of 1.379. The values range between a maximum value of 1 (always wrong) and maximum value of 4 (not wrong at all). Analysis Bivariate correlation s between the independent variables for media use and the dependent variable are used to examine preliminary associations. A series of nested ordinary least squares linear regression models is used to further explore effects on the variable "homosex." Th e first regression model demonstrates the effect of media use, and is then followed by four other models that incorporate the effects of demographics (education and income), ideology (religiosity and conservatism), the interaction of income and internet us e, and the interaction of education and television use in that order. The regression models follow these forms: Model 1: homosex = a + b1*wwwhr + b2*tvhours Model 2: homosex = a + b1*wwwhr + b2*tvhours + b3*educ + b4*rincome Model 3: homosex = a + b1*ww whr + b2*tvhours + b3*educ + b4*rincome + b5*attend +b6*polviews Model 4: homosex = a + b1*wwwhr + b2*tvhours + b3*educ + b4*rincome + b5*attend + b6*polviews + b7*rincome*wwwhr Model 5: homosex = a + b1*wwwhr + b2*tvhours + b3*educ + b4*rincome + b5*atten d + b6*polviews + b7*rincome*wwwhr + b8*educ*tvhours Results The dependent variable "homosex" has a skewed right distribution with a smaller peak at the highest value. Most respondents feel strongly that homosexual sex is completely wrong or not wrong at all. This shows that it is a polarizing topic with the smallest proportion of the population having an opinion that is moderate.

PAGE 29

29 Bivariate Associations W wwhr and homosex There is a statistically significant correlation between hours per week spent on the internet and attitudes toward homosexual sex. Table 3 1 shows that there is a weak positive relationship between these two variables, meaning that more time spent on the internet is weakly correlated with higher tolerance for homosexual sex. Table 3 1 Bivariate Association Between Hours per Week Spent on Internet and Attitudes Toward Homosexual Sex Attitudes Toward Homosexual Sex Relations Hours per Week on Internet Pearson Correlation .111* Significance .000 N 1133 Notes: *p< .05 T vhours and homosex Hours per day watching television has a statistically significant association with attitudes toward homosexual sex relations. The correlation is both weak and negative. This suggests that that more time spent wat ching television will be weakly associated with lower levels of tolerance for homosexual sex. For specific values, please see T able 3 2. Table 3 2 Bivariate Association Between Hours per Day Watching Television and Attitudes Toward Homosexual Sex Attit udes Toward Homosexual Sex Relations Hours per Day Watching Television Pearson's Correlation .092* Significance .004 N 960 Notes: *p< .05

PAGE 30

30 OLS Regression Model 1 This model shows only the effects of media use on attitudes toward ho mosexual sex, and accounts for 0.7 % of the variation in tolerance. It can be seen that the relationship between neither internet use nor watching television and tolerance remain statistically signific ant. Model 2 When the demographic f actors of education, income, and age are incorporated the regression model explains 4% of the variation in tolerance toward homosexual sex. No media use of any kind is significant in this model. Education has a statistically significant effect on toleran ce, while income and age do not. This model suggests that each additional year of education produces a small increase in tolerance toward homosexual sex. Model 3 This model introduces the effects of religiosity and conservatism, both of which are statisti cally significant. The addition of these variables a llows the model to explain 34.3% of the variation in tolerance toward homosexual sex relations. This model predicts that that each unit increase in both conservatism and frequency of religious service a ttendance will result in a small decrease in tolerance. Additionally, this model tolerance toward homosexual behavior will experience a large increase. Education's effec t also retains its statistical significance.

PAGE 31

31 Model 4 Introducing the interaction term for income and internet use produces a statistically significant result. This implies that the lack of significance for these two variables independently may have been a ffected by the digital divide. Adding this interaction term does not alter the significance of any effects from the previous model, and also allow s the model to account for 35.6% of the variation in tolerance toward homosexual sex relations. Model 5 This final model incorporates the interaction term for education and television use, which is not statistically significant. The significance of effects from the previous model s do not change with this addition. Also, r square increases by only .004 so that this model accounts for 36 % of the variance in tolerance toward homosexual sex.

PAGE 32

32 Table 3 3 Ordinary Least Squares Regression Model for the Effects of Education, Income, Religiosity, Conservatism, and Types of Media Use on Tolerance Toward Homosexuality I ndependent Variables Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Model 4 Model 5 TYPES OF MEDIA USE HOURS/WEEK ON INTERNET .010/[.086] .006/[.057] .001/[ .012] .051/[ .450]* .052/[ .459]* HOURS/DAY WATCHING TV .018/[ .021] .002/[.002] .034/[.040] .032/[.037 ] .383/[ .447] DEMOGRAPHICS EDUCATION (IN YEARS) --.098/[.182]* .071/[.131]* .066/[.123]* .009/[.017] INCOME --.013/[ .024] .009/[ .017] .058[ .112]* .059/[ .113]* AGE --.007/[ .064] .003/[ .029] .002/[ .015] .001/[ .012] RELIGIOSITY FREQUENCY OF SERVICE ATTENDANCE ----.079/[ .152]* .079/[ .153]* .081/[ .156]* FEELINGS ABOUT THE BIBLE ----.703/[.338]* .711/[.342]* .723/[.347]* CONSERVATISM POLITICAL VIEWS ----.230/[ .240]* .243/[ 253]* .245/[ .255]* INTERACTION TERMS RINCOMEXWWWHR ------.005/[.459]* .005/[.465]* EDUCXTVHOURS --------.028/[.489] CONSTANT 2.511 1.479 1.513 2.068 2.897 MODEL FIT F 1.371 3.034 23.749 22.252 20.339 R SQUARED .007 .040 .343 .356 .360 N 373 373 373 373 373 Note: *p< .05

PAGE 33

33 CHAPTER 4 QUALITATIVE METHODS Data In order to collect data pertaining to the tone used in new media that address homosexuality, this study uses content analysis of fifty videos from the website YouTube This site started in the year 2005, and now hosts millions of user created videos. Many of these videos are created by individuals whose careers lie outside of the realm of video production. As such, it provides a grea t sample of new media content produced outside of traditional institutions. The fifty videos used are the ones with the highest views among the results returned for the search "homosexual." Number of views are used as the selection factor because this ensures that the study addresses the new media content with the biggest impact. In addition to the videos themselves, the descriptions and comments to each selection will are analyzed. The comments are listed in reverse chronological order. This study u ses the first ten pages of comments for each video analyzed. The usernames attributed to both the videos and the comments are recorded, as well as the number of views. Submissions whose content is comprised of footage from broadcast media are treated lik e user created videos, but additionally have the name of the original broadcasting channel recorded. Videos that require translation are not used in the sample This study seeks to examine videos that are viewed by the American mainstream, and this audie nce would not have a tendency to view content that is not in English.

PAGE 34

34 Since the popularity of videos on YouTube almost certainly fluctuates on a daily basis, the list of fifty videos were generated on the first day and all of their specific URLs were doc umented so that I may access them at later dates. Coding After all the videos, descriptions, and comments were transcribed I began coding the data found within the transcriptions. My coding scheme identifies language and behavior that imply attitudes towa rd homosexuality. The following codes are used: Hostile This applies to language and actions that show an innate feeling of negativity toward homosexuality. Examples of this include violence and hate speech. Hegemonic This refers to any content that does not address outright hostility toward homosexuals, but instead calls into question their rights as equal citizens. Examples of this are generally accepted "rationalized" arguments against gay marriage, such as explanations that fall along religious or pa rty lines. Stereotype This identifies all content that, regardless of value judgments, depicts homosexual men and women in some stereotypical manner. Examples include blatantly masculine women, and men who are flamboyant or act in ways that are characteri stically feminine. Counter Stereotype This category contains content that contains openly homosexual individuals who are not blatantly different from non homosexual individuals. Examples are characters who are not identifiable as homosexual aside from ei ther their open status or their romantic relationships.

PAGE 35

35 Tolerance This applies to all content that promotes the rights of homosexuals as equal citizens. Examples are language and behavior in favor of legalized gay marriage. Language This category is for a ny videos that are using words like "homosexual" or "gay" to denote things they believe are not positive, as opposed to people or behavior that they sincerely believe are homosexual. Neutral The "neutral" category is for all videos that are merely discussi ng some aspect of homosexuality without passing value judgment or invoking stereotypes. These codes were used on every piece of data generated by the videos, descriptions, and comments. Some items in the study are members of more than one category. Analys is After the data were coded using the scheme above, I analyzed the content. The analysis will generated both trend data for the coded types of content, and the specific implementations of each of those types of content. Additionally, exceptions to thes e trends were noted. This method was applied to the videos themselves, as well as the comments and descriptions. Examples of the trends and notable exceptions are provided, including quotations, dialogue, and full descriptions of action and setting. Resu lts Videos In order to categorize the tone of the content, the descriptions given by the uploaders have been used in conjunction with the videos themselves in order to derive

PAGE 36

36 what categories the videos actually belong to. This process has revealed that th e largest category of videos is tolerance, with a total of 22 videos. The next largest category is neutral, coming in at 12 videos. Neutral is followed by stereotype at 9 videos large. Language and counter stereotype both follow next with 4 videos a pie ce. There are 2 videos with content that was categorized as hostile. Lastly, the sample contains no videos that fit the criteria of hegemonic. Tolerance This category is the most diverse in regards to types of content. Ways in which tolerance is display ed include the following: videos directly showing support, videos celebrating homosexual love, satirical videos, videos that promote tolerance while using stereotypes, videos that present counter stereotypes, clips from broadcast programs that display tole rance, and hostile or non tolerant video clips presented with a critical description. The video with the highest views that directly supports tolerance toward homosexuals is titled "Homophobia = Lame." In this video, which had been viewed 275,455 times, a man who had previously posted his impersonation of celebrity Perez Hilton responds to the homophobic comments he had received in return. Sitting in front of his computer, the star of the video looks into the camera and says, "Instead of people actually badmouthing them or attacking them over their video ideas, people are laying into them for being something that they can't really help. For being gay. Now if the homosexuals of YouTube were doing this." At this point he shows footage of himself dressed in tight clothes with a thong sticking out of his bottoms dancing and gyrating. "Well, the funny thing is, it doesn't seem all that different from this." He now shows a different clip from YouTube of a young woman dancing in front of the camera. He

PAGE 37

37 concludes his speech by saying, "Call me a loser if you want. But if you start using physical, or emotional things that people can't help, then that basically makes you the big ass prick." What we se e here is one of the clearest examples of direct support and tolerance from the sample of videos. First, the creator is calling out the hateful comments and addressing their existence as a problem. Next, he states that a homosexual man dancing in front o f a camera is no different than a woman dancing in front of the camera, implying a level of equality. Finally, he goes beyond a role of acceptance and support, and makes a negative judgment on individuals who would attack someone over something such as th eir sexuality. "Homosexual Love" is a user created video with 336,033 views that celebrates homosexuality. The video is a collection of photographs showing homosexual couples in love (ie. kissing, embracing, holding hands, etc.). Interspersed throughout the video are quotes about love such as, "No government has the right to tell its citizens when or whom to love. The only queer people are those who don't love anybody," and "What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh no, it's curved like a road through mountains." These images and messages display an appreciation and celebration of homosexuality. The most viewed satirical video, with 1,088,605 views, is "Why Homosexuality Should Be Banned." In this video, a young man provides the following 7 reasons why homosexuality should not be allowed while addressing the camera: "First of all, homosexuality is completely unnatural. Just like eyeglasses, polyester and birth control are not natural. Second, gay marriage is not supported by religion. And in a theocracy

PAGE 38

38 like ours, the values of one religion are always imposed on the entire country. That's why we only have one religion in America. Third, homosexual marriages are invalid because they can't produce children. Tha t's why infertile and old couples can't get legally married, because the world needs more children. Four: gay marriage will encourage more people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people makes you tall. Basically, scientific evidence pr oves it to be a contagious disease. Five: if we allow gay couples to adopt, then they will obviously raise gay children, because straight parents only raise straight children. Six: homosexual marriages are just plain weird. So are interracial marriages and instant oatmeal. We should probably ban those too. Seven: when it comes to gay adoption, children can never succeed without both male and female role models at home. That's why single parents are forbidden to raise children. The majority of America ns believe that homosexuality should be illegal. And what is popular is always right." By calmly stating arguments that are worded to expose logical inaccuracies, the uploader of this video is using satire to knock down opposition to homosexuality. This is a good example of a video using anti gay tools in order to support the homosexual community. One of the more unique videos is "Tomboy It's OK to be gay." This video is the 6th most viewed with 2,212,263 views. It is unique because while promoting the right of homosexuals to be open about their identity, it is replete with stereotypes about homosexuals. It is a music video whose song espouses the ideal of openness about homosexuality, while the images display men dressed effeminately and acting lik e they have overactive libidos. Additionally, the lyrics simultaneously discuss being proud to be gay and represent homosexuals as highly sexualized: "It's okay to be gay, let's

PAGE 39

39 rejoice with the boys in the gay way. Hooray for the kind of man you will fi nd in the gay way..." and "Hey man, gay man pick up the soap. Get on your knees and pray." This video is tolerant of homosexuality, but also reinforces some of the popular generalizations that are used against the gay community. "Gay Pepsi Ad" presents one of the two the strongest example of counter stereotype presented in the sample. In this video that has been viewed 909,797 times, we see three men sitting in a restaurant, one with glasses, one with a tie, and one wearing a striped shirt. They are lo oking at the bar and having the following conversation: Stripes: Go on mate. You're definitely getting checked out. Tie: I am? I am! Glasses: Come on. Now's your chance. Tie: I guess it's now or never. Stripes: Exactly. What could go wrong. Glasse s: Here. Have a Pepsi Max. Next we see the man in the tie drink the soda and approach the bar. First a woman in glasses reading a book turns toward him, but he walks by her. Next is a woman in a dress who whips her hair around and bites her lip at him. Finally, the man in the tie perks his eyes up as he walks past her toward a muscular man in a black tee shirt at the back of the bar. They start conversing and smiling, while his friends both have surprised looks on their faces. Not only is this commerc ial displaying tolerance for homosexual attraction, but it also presents a counter stereotype for the homosexual community. The man in the tie's sexual preference has no bearing on his expression of

PAGE 40

40 masculinity. He is wearing business attire and hanging out with his male friends at a restaurant. He does not have any affectation to his voice, nor does he use overt hand gesturing when he talks. His sexuality is so divorced from his sense of masculinity that even his buddies that he is hanging out with hav e no idea that he is attracted to men. Another strong example of a tolerant counter stereotype is the video "Devin & Glenn: Overturn Prop 8 and Make Homosexuals Marry!" Viewed 488,781 times, this video follows two gay men as they first meet, become roman tic, get married, and live together. As the marriage progresses we can see both Devin and Glenn fulfilling behavior attributed to both gender roles, but neither of them is overtly effeminate. For instance, Devin behaves as if he's sensitive about his wei ght and leaves to go watch his "shows," but he also does not lift the seat when he goes to the bathroom, leaving a mess for Glenn. Also, Glenn goes to buy the groceries and cooks dinner, but he also frequently wears business attire, implying that he is th e breadwinner in the marriage. This depiction of a homosexual couple defies common notions of what it means to "behave gay" and provides a counter stereotype that divorces sexual preference from enactments of masculinity. Additionally, it is tolerant and supportive of homosexuality by using an example of a marriage going stale as a sarcastic tool to allow homosexuals to marry. Two videos, "Homosexuality in Animals" (1,038,035 views) and "Homosexuality in dolphins" (223,336 views), use different clips fro m the same National Geographic special in order to support that argument that homosexual behavior is natural. The videos show the numerous ways in which over 400 species of animals participate in homosexual activity, including kissing, grooming, cuddling, and even manual, oral, and

PAGE 41

41 other kinds of stimulation. These videos are used to counter arguments of homosexuality being wrong because it is not normal. The descriptions to these videos explain that it is indeed normal as it has been documented in a lar ge number of species that are not humans. The standout example of a video that shows tolerance through criticizing a hostile clip is titled "Eat Da Poo Poo," being viewed a total of 4,393,098 times. In this video clip we see Pastor Dr. Martin Ssempa givi ng talks about what he perceives are the dangers of homosexuality, first to a community center and then to a church. The clips are from a program that originally aired on the channel Current TV. Pastor Ssempa is part of a task force trying to keep homose xuality from being legal in Uganda, and makes the following generalizations about homosexuals: "I've taken time to do a little research, to know what homosexuals do in the privacy of their bedroom. One of the things they do is called anal licking, where a man's anus is licked, like this (licks his hand), by the other person. Like ice cream. And then what happens, even poo poo comes out, the other one poo poos out. And then they eat the poo poo. The other one they do, is they have a sex practice called fisting where they insert their hand into the other man's hand, and it goes all the, into the anus all the way. And it is so painful, they have to take drugs, but they enjoy it." The pastor is taking graphic descriptions of specific acts, and generalizin g them to the entire homosexual community. Furthermore, he asks that all the children leave the room and then presents pictures on a computer to those in attendance. The individuals in the audiences appear disgusted by what is being described and shown, and are completely supportive of the pastor's message. Were this video to be shown without any kind of frame, it would be categorized as

PAGE 42

42 hostile However, the uploader refers to the contents of the video as "intense Ugandan hate speech against homosexual ." This identification of the message as hate speech implies an attitude of disgust toward the contents, and thus makes the YouTube submission, as a whole, a member of the tolerance category. Neutral All of the videos in this category deal with homosexuality as a factual element, without actually passing judgment one way or the other. There are various ways in which this occurs in t he sample. Some of them make observations that people or animals may be homosexual because they appear to be of the same sex. Others accuse known personalities of being homosexual without implying whether that is positive or negative. Other videos just use homosexuality as a tool toward the larger goal of the video. "Wendy's Homosexual Phone Prank" is a video in which homosexuality is used as a tool toward a larger goal. In this video, a young man calls a Wendy's fast food restaurant and speaks to a fe male employee about whether or not they serve gay customers. When she informs him that they do, he expresses his displeasure and looks into possible delivery options. As the conversation goes on, he claims that he is actually a homosexual that cannot com e out to his parents. Furthermore, he asks how she would react if her son were to admit that he is homosexual to her. She responds, "my reaction would be, that's fine. He's my son, I have unconditional love for my children." As the description to the v ideo states, this call is meant to be a prank, and the creators do not express any attitude toward homosexuality. It's only existence in the video is to further the goal of the prank phone call.

PAGE 43

43 In the video "Top Gun Homosexuality," the uploader creates a mashup of a scene from the movie Sleep With Me, in which Quentin Tarantino explains how Top Gun is a metaphor for homosexuality, with visuals from Top Gun interspersed throughout the video. His rationale is highlighted by the following dialogue: Tarant ino: You've got Iceman and all his crew. Other Guy: Alright Tarantino: They're gay. And they represent the gay man. Other Guy: Alright Tarantino: And they're saying "Go. Go the gay way." He could go both ways. Other Guy: What about Kelly McGillis? Tarantino: Kelly McGillis, she's heterosexuality. Further analysis like this is presented without passing judgment on whether homosexuality is right or wrong. In this case, we see people examining whether or not something is homosexual, but in a way tha t is neutral, and neither supportive nor hostile. For an example of a neutral video that explores the topic of homosexuality based on behavior between individuals of the same sex, there is "Dogs making out." This video is just a recording from a home cam era of two dogs in the street that first rub against each other, then engage in sex. The uploader of the video believes that the dogs are both male, though from the video it is hard to definitively tell. Going off of this assumption, the uploader comment s in the description that the dogs are homosexual. There is no judgment passed on this behavior, only the observation that it may be occurring.

PAGE 44

44 Stereotype The category of stereotype is host to the top viewed video in the study's sample. "The Homosexual G host" has 4,515,141 views and is also the strongest example of stereotyping done in a user submitted video. The video displays three college aged males in a dorm room at night. The protagonist is trying to sleep when he is visited by a ghost: Ghost: I'm gonna suck your dick. Protagonist: What the fuck? Who's there? Show Yourself! Ghost: I have been dead for centuries. And I love the cock. Protagonist: Ghost! Cock sucking ghost! Ghost: I wanna stick my wiener in your butt. Protagonist: Aaaaah! Show yours elf! (ghost appears) Ghost: Scooba da doop doop boo. ... Protagonist: Please! What do you want? Ghost: I want some cookies... and dick. Protagonist: You can take my cookies, but won't take my dick. Ghost: I don't think you understand. I've been dead for c enturies, and how do you think I feel? Each new semester new college kids come in and I take advantage of them. Here we can see the enactment of several stereotypes. Firstly, the ghost's voice has an effeminate affectation to it. Secondly, the ghost is s hown to have a very heightened libido, and one of his primary concerns is the pursuit of sexual gratification. Lastly, this video presents the stereotype that homosexual men are predatorial when the ghost

PAGE 45

45 proclaims that he has been around for centuries ta king advantage of each new cohort of college students. Language The language category is filled exclusively with videos that actually have nothing to do with any content pertaining to homosexuality. Included in this group are: "My Sexy Trick," "Cheerlea ding Falls," "Captain Planet Anti Drug Commercial (Warning: Very Very Gay)," and "IDEK 9 Blooper and Outake Reel." In these cases the words gay or homosexual were used to describe viewer's that don't think the trick is cool, the uploader's computer that a cted up, the quality of the video itself, and MySpace respectively. Counter stereotypes There exist only two examples of counter stereotype videos in the sample that are not also in the tolerant category. The video "TKO (Total Kiss Off?)," is a six seco nd clip of the moment right before a boxing match. As the match is about to begin, the two men get into each other's faces. One of them gives their opponent a kiss on the mouth, and the other one kisses back. This is an example of counter stereotype bec ause we have homosexual behavior occurring between two men who display what are considered to be heteronormative masculinities. "Ask a Gay Guy! (Ian is Bored 22)" is the other example of a counter stereotype video. The young man Ian is the host of a seri es of web videos in which he engages in various types of activities. In this episode he is doing a segment called "Ask a Gay Guy" in which he is asking his gay friend Will questions submitted by Ian's Twitter followers. While it may be exploitive of his friend's homosexual identity, this video actually presents a counter stereotype for homosexuals. Here are some examples:

PAGE 46

46 Ian: According to some crazy Ugandan guy, gay people eat the poo poo. Is this true? Will: No, it's not true. I hope he gets shot in t he face. Ian: Do you like any sports besides figure skating? Will: I actually do. I enjoy many different sports. Ian: Like what? Will: Like tennis, and college basketball, and baseball. ... Ian: What is the dumbest fashion out today? Will: Um, I think Ug gs are the crappiest thing that was ever invented. I own a pair of crocs, and I know a lot of gay men Ian: I was gonna say crocs Will: A lot of gay men hate the crocs. They're not to be worn outdoors, they are perfectly fine, like, house shoes. These que stions show Will to be a homosexual male who dispels several stereotypes. First, he directly dispels a generalization made by the Ugandan pastor from a previous video in the sample concerning sexual acts. Next, he goes on to name several sports that he l ikes, an activity generally considered to be an expression of heterosexual masculinity. Lastly, he directly defies a preference that he claims is held by most other gay men. Hostile This last group contains only two videos. In "Nixon Tape Discusses Homos exuals at Bohemian Grove," there is a still image of President Nixon's face as an audio tape that is alleged to be of him plays in the background, accompanied by the following subtitles: "Let's look, let's, let's look at Northern California. You understan d it... yeah... (unintelligible) But, it isn't, it isn't just not in the ratty part of town... But, the upper class

PAGE 47

47 in San Francisco is that way... now, bohemian grove that I attend, from time to time (unintelligible) but it is the most faggy goddamned thi ng you could ever imagine... that San Francisco crowd that goes in there.... it's just terrible! I mean, I won't shake hands with anybody from San Francisco." The contents of the video present material that is hostile toward homosexuals, and the uploade r's description provides no critical examination of the material: "Nixon mentions witnessing homosexual activity while attending bohemian grove." This submission is categorized as hostile since this description does not question the tone of the material i n the way that the description to "Eat Da Poo Poo" did. The other hostile video is "Plan B Charmaine [Funny Version]." This is a music video and a song created by the uploader of the video. The lyrical content of the song does not contain any material addressing homosexuality. However, when the lyric "my love for you is way out of line" is sung, the video displays an image of two men kissing on a baseball field. This connotes an attitude of homosexual activity being "out of line." In the description to the video, the uploader offers the following apology: "I made this video on the 24th May as a joke between a few friends, and me and to show it to them I used YouTube I didn't realise how big it was going to be, I know none of my close mates would be offended by those tow images, but it got so big on YouTube it became more and more popular. So I apologise for if it offends you I did not mean it." The two images they are referring to are the aforementioned kissing image, and one of the twin towers up in smoke. The description only apologizes for people who were not meant to see it being offended. It does not actually apologize for the message itself. Thus, the

PAGE 48

48 intent of the message, that homosexual behavior is "out of line," stands and the video is categorized as hostile Comments An analysis of the comments shows four dominant categories: hegemonic tolerant hostile and language Hegemonic remarks show up exclusively for videos that have debates. Counts for the videos' comments pages show that 17 of them are dominated by tolerant comments. Ten are categorized as being mostly language comments. Eight of the videos are dominated by comments that actually did not pertain to homosexuality in any manner. There are six videos that contain mostly ho stile comments. Debate occurrs in the comments sections of five videos. Lastly, four of the videos have comments disabled. Tolerant The comments of this category all show support for homosexuals. They include statements against intolerance as well as de clarations in favor of equality. Examples of these comments include: "what the fuck is wrong with people declaring homosexuality as an illness???? this kind of viewing things is one of the reasons for these countries being underdeveloped..." "I jusg love how some use the term 'Freedom' to mean what is convenient for them and not others. Kind of defeats the purpose. Almost as hypocritical as Christians." "i cant believe we live in a world where people have such negative opinions of others. even if you are s traight and white you are still different to someone else (of other race/sexuality) this is the 21st century! get over your dated narrow minded opinions and get an education! bruno is making a comment on society, not just for comedy value and to show these people up. respect." "But seriously. If they want to join, who I am to say one way or the other." (In reference to homosexuals joining the military)

PAGE 49

49 These comments exhibit various attitudes that all contain a message of tolerance toward homosexuals. Atti tudes of resentment toward intolerance are found in the first 3 comments, while comments 3 and 4 call for respect and equality to be given to homosexual individuals. Language Comments in this category direct name calling at individuals as well as objects a nd occurrences. They do not necessarily denote hostility toward homosexuals, but the use of such language implies that those leaving the comments hold a sense of gay people being inferior in some way. Examples include: "dont be a flamer, drink a coke!" Faggot I love top gun" "tarentinos gay" "ur gay for taking so much time to base your life on making this garbage why dont you create your own art an quit being so scare an jugemental FAGGOT lol" "As many of the brilliant commenters have pointed out recen tly and in the past alike, this video is incredibly GAY. Prepare to see the gayest video ever uploaded to youtube." "this video is beautiful !!the real fags are those who oppose homosexuality !!" What is seen in these comments are different contexts in whi ch words for gay or homosexual are used as a form of name calling. In the top 4 comments, these labels are being used against people for things that they either do or don't do that have no pertinence to sexuality whatsoever. The first comment uses names against people for not drinking coke, while comments 2 and 3 are lashing out against people that give an analysis they do not care for to a film that they enjoy. The fourth comment uses

PAGE 50

50 homosexual name calling against someone for not creating something or iginal enough. Comment 5 refers to the video as being "gay" because it is not perceived to be of a very good quality. The most interesting case, though, is comment 6. Here a derogatory word for homosexuals is being taken by a supporter of the gay commun ity, and used as a way of disparaging those with anti gay sentiments. Hostile Comments in this category often contain similar language to those from the previous one. The difference, though, comes with the intent of the statements. These hostile comments are either made as acts of verbal violence against homosexual people, or denote an innate disgust for homosexuals. Some examples are: "this kinda shit makes me sick" (in reference to the Okay To Be Gay music video) "@anikinippon I think it's a conspiracy by the media that is controlled by these secret brotherhoods that are trying to make homosexuality acceptable. I mean look at all those comedians/actors you saw in this video not to mention the countless others in the history of hollywood. Look at TV sh ows. There is probably a gay character in every show, right? Same sex marriage being legalised, yadda yadda yadda" "very sad to me that people think being Gay in normal it's not normal at all. Why would anyone think it's Normal to put your thing in so meone's Toxic Waste Dump,you know what comes out of there right.What do you think would happen if animals started to become Gay ?? On that same token we humans seem to be getting more more Gay by the day and at some point when Gays out number everyone else then that will be a turning point for us all May God help us when that day comes ." "Being gay is nasty and sinful" "KILL IT WITH FIAR" (in response to the Okay To Be Gay music video) "THIS IS FUCKING DISGUSTING AND DISGRACE!!!!!!" Attacking queers, jews, black, and liberals you say? I think i understand why he was painted dishonestly as being the worst president ever now. he

PAGE 51

51 called the undesirable filth what it is and they cried. I think he should be awarded" (in response to the Nixon tape) Several negative attitudes toward homosexuality are displayed in these comments. First, there are feelings sickness displayed in comments 1, 4, and 6. These comments point to nausea, disgust, and finding homosexuality to be nasty. Comment 7 displays and attitu de that considers homosexuals to be "undesirable filth," and finds them worthy of being attacked. Comments 2 and 3 both contain a sense of paranoia, about the world becoming increasingly consumed by homosexuality. It ranges from concern for the state of the media, to a fear that for the species when the "Gays out number everyone else." Lastly, comment 5 shows so much hostility toward homosexuals that it calls for violent death by fire. Debate This category describes videos in which the comments section h osts a dialogue about some aspect of homosexuality. It is exclusively in these videos' comments that hegemonic commentary is found. Here is one example of a debate: "@SunShawnSean As I state homosexuality is a sexual perversion and most of the argument s against that have failed in light of research. I fail to see the progress, however, this is something 'beside the point'. This question is something about a more realistic 'art imitating life'. The other side of a counterfeit coin is still counterfeit Having a 'world' where 10% of people are out gay and 100% of the Blacks accept it as perfectly normal becomes unbelievable" (ElProximo) "@ElProximo Which type of 'research' determines perversion? Perversion is not scientific, it is an opinion. Some ma y consider many forms of sexual interaction to be perverted, indeed throughout the ages this has been the case. Perhaps one considers handcuffs perverted, however that does not make it so. To call an entire populace perverted, is to massively misundersta nd. To love another is not perverted, to not love is blasphemous" (SunShawnSean) "@ElProximo Why is homosexuality a perversion....? What makes it a perversion? Please explain." (googirlkay)

PAGE 52

52 "@goodgirlkay 'Perversion' describes using something for a purpos e other than what it was intended for. Along those lines you see? So many people would look at a male and suppose that penis is intended for a vagina, testes, sperm which work in ovaries and so on. They would call homosexuality a 'perversion' as it would use these things to fit inside an anus, mouth or somewhere it was not built for. (and the converse might be said). Some say it is a mental illness" (ElProximo) In this debate there are three people discussing the nature of sexual perversion and whether o r not homosexuality fits that description. SunShawnSean and goodgirlkay both make comments that suggest that they are tolerant toward homosexuality. While ElProximo does not fall on the same side of the divide, their comments do not carry a tone of hosti lity. Rather, ElProximo's comment is an example of one that falls in the hegemonic category, as it is offering popular argument against homosexuality. Disabled The four videos that have their comments disabled are "TD Jakes Endorses The Homosexual Agenda PT 1" ( tolerant ), "Gay Love Poem" ( tolerant ), "Obama a homosexual drug user forever" ( neutral ), and "Cheerleading Falls" ( language ). There is one final thing to note about the comments to the videos. In comments sections to the videos that were satirical in nature, there are messages that display a lack of understanding that satire is being used. This may not be a problem, however, assuming that viewers pay attention to the comments. Several of them blatantly address that the videos are indeed satirical and that commenters who come off as ignorant to this fact need to watch the videos again.

PAGE 53

53 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION This study sought to find a relationship between new media use and tolerance toward homosexuality. To test this idea specifically, I lo oked at how time spent on the internet and time spent watching television affected tolerance toward homosexual sex relations in order to compare the effects of new and old media on the acceptance of non hegemonic ideas. OLS linear regression found that no type of media use had a statistically significant effect on tolerance. This did not change when demographic factors (education, income, and age) and ideological factors (religiosity and conservatism) were accounted for. Interaction terms for income & in ternet use and education & television use were added in order to account for the digital divide and heightened critical thinking skills respectively. The results are statistically significant for the former and not significant for the latter. The finding s of the first model rejected both hypothesis 1 (increased internet use predicts increased tolerance for homosexual sex) and hypothesis 2 (increased television viewing predicts decreased tolerance for homosexual sex) due to lack of statistical significance There was no change in models 2 and 3. Model 4 supported hypothesis 3, which stated that the effect of internet use on tolerance toward homosexual sex is influenced by digital divide the stratification of access to computer technology caused by inequa lities in socioeconomic status. The 5th and final model rejected hypothesis 4, which stated that increased critical thinking skills from higher education would influence the effect of television viewing on tolerance toward homosexual sex relations.

PAGE 54

54 The q uantitative findings of this study suggest that there is a connection between new media use and acceptance of counter hegemonic ideas. Even further, the effect of the digital divide on this relationship as demonstrated by the interaction term in model 4 implies that existing social stratification may be a hindrance to the spread of a knowledge construction system that allows the cultivation of ideas that are not congruent with the hegemony. In order to understand the content that contributes to this po ssible relationship, as well as the responses that audiences have to this content, this study utilized content analysis of YouTube videos and their comments. The results of this analysis show that the majority of content submitted on YouTube is of a tolerant nature, promoting respect for homosexuals as well as consideration for them as equal citizens. Another important finding is that a handful of videos present people who serve as counter stereotypes, fighting the generalized idea of how a homosexual is supposed to behave. The comments also showed a strong trend toward an attitude of tolerance. This is most notable in the debate s that occur in these comments sections, in which tolerance minded individuals tended to outnumber commenters that employed both hate speech and hegemonic arguments against homosexuality, such as religious arguments or claiming that it is not natural. Whil e the climate of the YouTube community may be one of tolerance, there are still videos and attitudes that display anti gay sentiments. These negative attitudes toward homosexuality range from religious and scientific arguments against the legitimacy of h omosexuality, to outright hate speech. Also prevalent is the use of

PAGE 55

55 language that denotes homosexuality to describe objects, people, or circumstances that are considered unfavorable. Limitations There were limitations to this study that may have accounted for some of the lack of support for my hypotheses. Firstly, since the GSS is not a dataset focused on my topic, the questions for internet and television use were too broad and failed to capture the ways in which respondents used this technology. Additi onally, since the 2008 GSS did not ask the internet use question that I needed, the 2006 survey had to be used. This is problematic because YouTube one of the biggest examples of widely distributed user generated media content, only began in early 2005, and thus its impacts may not have been properly observed. Lastly, the response rates for the questions I used resulted in a sample size smaller than I would have liked to have worked with. In regards to the content analysis, different decisions could hav e been made in the sample selection process. Firstly, if I was not focusing on obtaining the videos with the most views, I could have excluded the videos that did not pertain directly to issues of homosexuality. Also, I could have attempted to analyze vi deos that required translation. Doing this would have allowed me to fill my sample without dipping below the actual list of 50 videos with the most views. Future Research Future research into this topic should make certain changes from this study in orde r to possibly improve their results. It is strongly recommended that a new survey be constructed in order to get a more focused dataset. This is absolutely necessary in order to capture the relationship between the newest user generated media services

PAGE 56

56 av ailable on the internet and users attitudes with regard to homosexuality. Questions in this survey should make a point at addressing what respondents are using television and internet for, instead of just how frequently they use it. The results of this s tudy suggest that it would also be worthwhile to ask questions developed specifically to explore the ways the digital divide may be a factor on this issue and on attitudes regarding social issues generally. Possible questions to achieve this may look into the conditions of the respondent's access to computer technology and new media: do they own their own equipment or use public computers (e.g. library), what is the bandwidth of their internet access, what kind of education have they received in computer u se, etc.). Another important factor to consider is whether or not the respondent has any personal experience with members of the marginalized group being studied, or if their perceptions are based solely on portrayals of that group in the media. A survey tailored specifically to investigate the relationship of new media use and tolerance for counter hegemonic ideas would also most likely result in higher response rates on all questions, and thus a bigger sample. The construction and administering of a ne w survey would help to overcome most of the readily observable shortcomings of this study. In regards to the content analysis portion of the study, future researchers may wish to frame their sample differently. A more multicultural sample could be obtaine d if translated videos are used. Additionally, a more discriminating selection process could be used in order to weed out videos that do not directly address the issues or stereotypes of homosexuality. This should only be done, however, if researchers do not wish to analyze data pertaining to the use of language denoting homosexuality outside of contexts pertaining to matters of sexuality.

PAGE 57

57 LIST OF REFERENCES Adorno, T & Horkheimer, M. (1993). Dialectic of Enlightenment New York: Continuum. Crutcher, M & Zook, M. (2009). Placem arks and waterlines: R acialized cyberscape s in post Katrina Google Earth Geoforum 40 523 534. Ellison, C.G. & Musick, M.A. ( 1993 ) Southern intolerance: A fundamentalist effect? Social Forces 72(2), 379 98. Fejes, F. (2001). Advertising and the p olitical e conomy of l esbian/ g ay i dentity. In Eileen R. Meehan & Ellen Riordan (Eds.), Sex & Money: Fem inism and Political Economy in the Media (pp.196 208) Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press. Forgacs, D & Nowell Smith, G (Eds). (1985). Antonio Gramsci: Selections from Cultural Writings London: Lawrence and Wishart. Gross, L. (1991). Out of the m ainstream: Sexual m inorities and the mass media. Journal of Homosexuality, 21(1), 19 46. Goffman, E (1974) Frame Ana lysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Hess, A. (2009). Resistance u p in s moke: Analyzing the l imitations of d eliberation on YouTube Critical Studies in Media Communication 26 (5), 411 434. Hoare, Q & Now ell Smith, G (Eds). (1971). Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci New York: International Publishers. Holt, T K. & Copes, H (2010). Transferring s ubcultural k nowledge o n l ine: Practices and b eliefs of p ersistent d igital pirates. Devia nt Behavior 31 ( 7 ) 625 654. Hubert, S J. (1999). What's w rong w ith t his p icture. Journal of Popular Culture 32(2) 31 36. Jenkins, H. (2003). Convergence Culture: Where old and new media collide Cambridge: MIT Press. Kimmel, M (2008). Guyland: The Per ilous World Where Boys Become Men New York: Harper Collins Publishers. Loftus, J l iberalization in a ttitudes toward h omosexuality, 1973 to 1998. American Sociological Review 66(5), 762 782. Marx, K & Engels, F. (1976). The ruling cl ass and the ruling ideas. In Karl Marks, Friedrich Engels: Collected Works, vol. 5 (pp.59 62). New York: International Publishers.

PAGE 58

58 McLuhan, M. (1964). The medium is the message. In Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (pp. 23 35, 63 67). New York : Signet. ulinity and the fag discourse. Sexualites 8, 329 346. Rohlinger, D .A & Brown, J. (2009). Democracy, a ction, and the i nternet a fter 9/11. American Behavioral Scientist 53 133 150. Sprou le, J. (1987). Propaganda studies in American social science: The rise and fall of the critical paradigm. Quarterly Journal of Speech 73 (1), 60 78. Sproule, J. (1989). Progressive propaganda critics and the magic bullet myth. Critical Studies in Mass Comm unication 6(3), 225 246.

PAGE 59

59 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Donald Weinbrenner graduated from the University of Florida in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology. His current research interests include the ways in which media, both old a nd new, interact with identity and knowledge construction.