Gender and sexual scripts in popular US teen series: A study on the gendered discourses in One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1757-1898
  • E-ISSN: 1757-1901


In recent years, research focusing on the representation of youth and sexuality in the media has gained momentum. The sexual content in programmes can sometimes be characterized as hypersexual, and, according to Jacobson, we find such hypersexual representation in two-thirds of television programmes. Not only do the media offer teenagers more sexual content than previously, but the nature of the content itself has changed. Sexual acts are more explicitly depicted or referenced, the teenagers shown have their first sexual contact at an earlier age, and sexuality is no longer exclusively part of a committed relationship. We live in a mediated reality, and it is therefore necessary to study the content of contemporary media programmes directed at teenagers. This article examines the represented gender scripts in two popular US teen series ( and ) using a qualitative textual film analysis. Specifically, it focuses on the relation between gender and sexuality. Several stereotypical gender scripts are revealed, although more positive and emancipative discourses are found as well. A tendency to casualize sexuality is noticed, which pinpoints the possibility that it may be time to reconsider sexual licence in the twenty-first century as part of youth-as-fun instead of youth-as-trouble.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): gender; gender roles; representation; sexuality; teen series; textual analysis
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