Is Sexual Violence on TV OK if the Heroine Is Tough?

“Does viewing sexual violence against women stoke sexist beliefs in men? And what if Buffy Summers swoops in to drive a stake in the heart of the male aggressor? In a new study published in the Journal of Communication, psychologist Christopher Ferguson argues that brawny, capable female role models like those found in Buffy the Vampire Slayer can “eliminate the negative effects of sexually violent media” among viewers. He’s even coined a buzzy new term for the phenomenon: “The Buffy Effect.” But Buffy Summers cannot exorcise all of our demons.”

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