Portrayals of sexual violence in popular Hindi films, 1997-99

Srividya Ramasubramanian, Mary Beth Oliver

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


An exploratory content analysis was conducted to examine portrayals of sexual violence in popular Hindi films. Nine films were randomly selected from box office hits (1997-99). The findings suggest that moderate sexual violence is depicted as fun, enjoyable, and a normal expression of romantic love. Victims were more likely to be women rather than men, and sexual violence committed by heroes was a common portrayal, particularly moderate violence such as harassment of women with whom the heroes ultimately became romantically involved. Severe sexual violence was portrayed as criminal and serious, whereas moderate sexual violence was treated as fun and romantic. Results are discussed in terms of script theory and social learning perspectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-336
Number of pages10
JournalSex Roles
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Apr 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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