Major and Classification
Sonya Negriff, Ph.D., School of Social Work
Research Gateway Project
“Traditional Gender Roles in Homosexual Relationships on Television: An Analysis on the Television Show Modern Family”
Previous works have touched upon the progress, or lack of progress, seen in the portrayal of gender roles, such as that of the woman, in modern-day television. There are studies that have examined the impact media and television shows can have on underrepresented communities, and how some of those underrepresented communities are portrayed on television. Although it has been 30 years since the emergence of gay couples in popular media, the representation of gender roles is still limited. This study focused on how gender roles among gay couples were portrayed in Modern Family, a popular television show. I focused on the couple Cameron and Mitchell, who are featured in the series in which traditional gender roles were referred to in regards to their sexual identity, as well as other themes relating to portrayal of gay couples. Six episodes were randomly chosen from each of the six seasons to be coded, totaling to 36 coded episodes. Overarching themes, which include being excessively emotional, not being athletic, and imposing traditional gender roles, were found throughout the seasons and were identified through the coding process.