Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Mark Orbe

Second Advisor

Autumn Edwards

Third Advisor

Ilana Nash


The objective of this paper is to investigate the portrayal of female characters in Charmed, Supernatural, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the relation it has to which sexes were represented in romantic relationships within fan fiction for the three shows. This investigation was conducted through content analysis of the scripts and fan fiction to determine number of female roles and their depth in the scripts, and the number of romantic relationships and the sexes involved in the relationships in the fan fiction texts. It found that Charmed and Supernatural had the greatest proportion of individual female characters introduced at 39.2%, while 35.8% of characters introduced in Buffy the Vampire Slayer were female. In Charmed, female characters were found to say 63.98% of all spoken words, in Supernatural only 12.28% of the total words were spoken by female characters, and in Buffy the Vampire Slayer 56.46% of total words were said by female characters. Similarly, at the level of individual characters, the top three female characters in Charmed said more than the top three male characters. For Buffy the Vampire Slayer the ratio was one to one with females taking precedence and in Supernatural the top three male characters said more than the top three female characters. The romantic relationships in the fa~ fiction for all three shows were predominantly Male/Female, though Supernatural contained one Male/Male relationship, and Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer both contained one relationship in the Other category. While this study did not provide any truly conclusive evidence for the notion that the number and prominence of female characters relates to the sex of characters involved in the romantic relationships portrayed in the fan fiction for each community, it does provide an indication that these three shows would be an excellent place to launch future studies.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access