Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Whitney DeCamp

Second Advisor

Dr. Zoann Snyder

Third Advisor

Dr. Jesse Smith


Content analysis, movie trailers, women, social construction, sociology

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Movie trailers are ever present in our society and impactful in the way society constructs views about various aspects of life. Trailers are unique in that they are specifically tailored and edited to entice audiences to buy tickets to the film. Further, prior research has indicated that in various forms of media, women are continuously underrepresented, disproportionately sexualized, stereotyped, and victimized. The present study examines the portrayal of women through a content analysis of 230 of the top grossing trailers across seven decades: 1950-2015. The research focuses on women’s representation, sexualization, gender roles, and violence. The analysis reveals that in the 65 year span of movie trailers, women’s portrayal has remained relatively constant over time, with little to no change. Trailers continue to have less overall screen time, less speaking time, and fewer roles for women. Women continue to be sexualized, stereotyped, and remain relatively absent from violence as well. These results highlight the need for more attention to changing the film industry’s institutionalized social construction of women’s portrayals to better fit reality.