Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Maria K. Lapinski

Second Advisor

Dr. Mark P. Orbe

Third Advisor

Dr. Steven Lipkin

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Prior research has shown that the media can have an impact on behavior, perception, and gender roles. This study examines violence against women in slasher films through the lenses of similarity theory and social identity theory. Both theories suggest we are attracted to others who are similar to ourselves. In slasher films, the final girl is depicted as a strong character that exemplifies many qualities viewers may see in themselves. Thus, it was hypothesized that as viewers' perceived similarity with the final girl the more they would like her character and the film. Results suggest that viewers perceived similarity the final girl. Additionally the more viewers perceive similarity the more they liked the final girl and the more they liked the film. Researchers also examined perceived amount of violence and whether it predicts liking of the final girl and secondary female characters. Results indicate the amount of violence and liking of the secondary female characters were negatively correlated, however perceived amount of violence and liking of the final girl were not correlated.

Included in

Communication Commons