But who's the man? Representations of sexuality and the feminist potential of orange is the new black
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The amount of sexual content on television has grown exponentially over the last two decades. Much of this content works to enforce heteronormative ideals and demonstrate a male/active, female/passive dichotomy when performing sexuality. This mixed-methods study explored the representations of sexuality on the first season of the female-centric show Orange is the New Black from a critical feminist perspective. Interactions between three couples on the show were analyzed for the presence of the heterosexual script through a quantitative content analysis. Each of the couples, which included two queer relationships, enacted this script in their performance of sexuality. Five adult women who self-identify as feminist were interviewed to explore their opinions on the representations of sexuality on the show, analyzed through thematic analysis. Important barriers that participants noted the show had broken included having a diverse cast, a prominent transgender character, and presenting sexuality as part of larger narratives. Yet, participants questioned numerous aspects of the show, underlining a consensus that the show was not working to combat the dominant discourse of patriarchy through any meaningful ways.
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