The gender politics of female action heroes in television and films
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Social and political movements in the United States have led to an increase in the popularity of action and adventure genres in television and films. There has been an increase in female lead roles in these productions and there is a connection between these media representations and socially held ideas of female empowerment. The author argues that films and television shows featuring female action heroes reflect societal ideas about gender roles, and also influence the development of those roles. The author surveys college students to determine why they watch programs with female action heroes, there opinions on how these programs relate to gender roles, and how the students form a personal connection to these characters. Among other results, the author finds that male viewers tend to be drawn to these programs by the sexual attractiveness of the female lead, while female viewers watch these programs to see complex female characters in powerful roles.