Communication, 2010
  • Communication, 2010


    Study of Gay Men: Stereotypes, Misperceptions and Media Influence
    Stephanie Booth
    Mentor: Lois Foreman-Wernet

    The visibility of homosexuality, particularly the lives of gay males, is becoming more prevalent. Most academic articles agree that the general public’s beliefs are based on false stereotypes that have existed for many years and are reinforced by visual media. The reason for this study is to better understand how these stereotypes function in an effort to reduce the number of verbal and physical incidents that are often the result of prejudiced behaviors. Through a literature review, media analysis, and broad ethnographic study, including informal conversations and observation, I show how the media reiterate the audience’s already generally disapproving attitude toward the gay male culture and some of the social effects of gay male stereotypes. My research supports the position that the media present gay men in an untruthful and harmful manner and that the general public, who already have a poor opinion of gay men, are heavily influenced by the media. Finally, I hope to show why a change in portrayals and attitudes toward gay men would be beneficial to society.


    The Omnicidal Mindset: How the Reliance upon Nuclear Weapons will Kill Us All
    Garrett Crane
    Mentor: Steve Koch

    Ever since the creation of nuclear weapons, they have been used to deter potential opponents from attacking. This logic is not only flawed, but could potentially have disastrous results. The United States Federal Government should seriously consider the implications of nuclear deterrence. The only way the world can be saved is through total disarmament. This conclusion was reached after studying the efficacy of deterrence theory and examining the implications outlined in the literature on nuclear deterrence. Though it is a bold action, it would probably be effective. In the past, advocates of disarmament have focused mainly on the moralistic aspects of eliminating the nuclear arsenal. However, there are substantial strategic benefits to disarming that must warrant heavy consideration. We are no longer in the Cold War, and nuclear weapons only serve as a barrier to success in our current war. Mutually-assured destruction only works if one’s opponent fears death. The only hope of victory and security comes from nuclear disarmament and the rejection of deterrence logic.