Media and the misconception of feminine traits in men and masculine traits in women as being homosexual: insights from students of the University of Cape Coast, Ghana

Chinyere C. P. Nnorom, University of Lagos
Amanda Odoi, University of Cape Coast

Media has become one of the most influential means of gaining knowledge and socializing. The media has also played an influential role in the construction of identities and labeling behaviours. With the upsurge of media images of traits of homosexuals, individuals who exhibit these traits are misconstrued as homosexuals. Using the labeling theory and the social constructionist theory which are all closely related, the paper argues that what has come to be known as the ideal traits of homosexuals are largely influenced by images from the media. To support this, information for the paper was obtained from students in a tertiary institution through a qualitative method. The findings reveal that a greater majority of the respondents have been influenced by the media to label people with certain physical traits as homosexuals. The paper recommends the need for strict censorship of messages in the media to avoid misleading the public.

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Presented in Poster Session 4