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Changing the Scripts: Midlife Women’s Sexuality in Contemporary U.S. Film

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Abstract:

This article examines the portrayal of midlife women’s sexuality in 13 recent U.S. narrative films. Content analysis of these films suggests that film portrayals of midlife women’s sexuality are relatively muted, with the most positive portrayals found in the broadest comedies. In addition, midlife women’s bodies are more often displayed as objects of humor than as objects of desire, the “female gaze” at the male body is shown only humorously, and midlife women’s sexuality is primarily validated for slim, white, middle-class women in committed romantic relationships with “age-appropriate” partners. Nevertheless, these films overall suggest that midlife women should have sexual desires, should act on those desires, should experience sexual pleasure, and should not sacrifice their own sexual needs for a man’s approval or desires.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

sexual (115), film (105), women (70), midlif (49), year (34), old (33), sex (30), portray (26), relationship (23), bodi (22), scene (19), activ (18), age (17), play (17), gaze (17), femal (17), humor (15), suggest (15), audienc (14), desir (14), romant (14),
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Name: American Sociological Association Annual Meeting
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http://www.asanet.org


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MLA Citation:

Weitz, Rose. "Changing the Scripts: Midlife Women’s Sexuality in Contemporary U.S. Film" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Hilton San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, Aug 08, 2009 <Not Available>. 2014-11-29 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p304722_index.html>

APA Citation:

Weitz, R. , 2009-08-08 "Changing the Scripts: Midlife Women’s Sexuality in Contemporary U.S. Film" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Hilton San Francisco, San Francisco, CA Online <PDF>. 2014-11-29 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p304722_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This article examines the portrayal of midlife women’s sexuality in 13 recent U.S. narrative films. Content analysis of these films suggests that film portrayals of midlife women’s sexuality are relatively muted, with the most positive portrayals found in the broadest comedies. In addition, midlife women’s bodies are more often displayed as objects of humor than as objects of desire, the “female gaze” at the male body is shown only humorously, and midlife women’s sexuality is primarily validated for slim, white, middle-class women in committed romantic relationships with “age-appropriate” partners. Nevertheless, these films overall suggest that midlife women should have sexual desires, should act on those desires, should experience sexual pleasure, and should not sacrifice their own sexual needs for a man’s approval or desires.


Similar Titles:
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The Effects of Sexual Victimization, Butch-Femme Ideals, and Interdependency on Women's Sexual Agency and Sexual Satisfaction: Implications for Relationship Functioning in Female Couples

Body satisfaction and televised advertisements: the effects of model size and sexualized portrayals on women’s body satisfaction


 
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