Gender Differences in the Representation of Violence on Spanish Television: Should Women be More Violent?

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Gender differences in the representation of aggressors and victims are an important issue in the study of television violence in order to ascertain whether television contributes (and how) to reproduce or transform the traditional gender regime. Eighty-four hours of Spanish main TV broadcasting stations were randomly recorded during years 2000 and 2005. Variables related to the presentation of aggressors and victims and to the normative context of aggression were selected through content analysis. The results show the minimal presence of women in violent scenes. But women are also the victims of more serious violence. Paradoxically, women’s aggressions appear to have more positive consequences and to be less legitimized. The implications of these findings are discussed from a gender studies perspective.