First Advisor

Tina Burdsall

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Sociology and University Honors




Homosexuality in motion pictures, Children's films, Characters and characteristics in motion pictures, Sexual minorities in mass media




This study included a selection of 5 top-grossing animated children's films looking for hints, references and projected attitudes about LGBT lifestyles. I hypothesized that there would be no out-right gay characters whatsoever, but only hints or strong hints to, and that they would be exemplified through gender transgressions, intense same-sex interactions, and contain a focus on male masculinity. Furthermore, I hypothesized that all categories would be used primarily for humor. Results held true with these predictions where all categories were used for humor 83% of the time, with a focus on male characters. The results also support the noted increase of positive portrayals and hints from the 2000's on, and that this trend is now spreading into programming geared towards younger age groups; albeit in the background and with such subtlety that LGBT lifestyles seem to remain unrealistic to identifying children in the audience. Finally, a new ideal of masculine and feminine expression in protagonist main characters has arisen, giving hope for more inclusion in future years of animated films.


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