Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Charles Winick

Committee Members

Rolf Meyersohn

Gaye Tuchman

Subject Categories



This dissertation develops and applies a method for studying viewers' perceptions of gender roles on television. Two hypotheses–selective perception and oversocialization–were tested. In contrast to other studies which rely on subjects' long-term memories, subjects were shown a tape of One Day at a Time, a popular television show, immediately prior to responding to a questionnaire on the show. Subjects were also asked for demographic data and administered the Demplewolff Sex Role Attitude Test. T-Tests and correlations were done, using groups formed around the sex role attitudes of the subjects (as measured by the Demplewolff Sex Role Attitude Test), as well as their gender, education and viewing habits. No support was found for either the hypothesis of selective perception or the hypothesis of oversocialization. The few differences in perceptions between men and women which were found reflect differences in viewing habits, scores on the Demplewolff Sex Role Attitude Test, or membership in the Loyal Order of Moose, a fraternal organization. (Fifty six percent of the male sample belonged to the Moose). This research provides a method for exploring and developing the concept of an active audience, as developed by the Uses and Gratification Approach.


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