Cowan and O’Brien’s 1990 Study on Gendered Victimhood

Were male or female characters more likely to survive a slasher movie?

What other personal characteristics than gender were involved in the profile of the slasher’s victims?

The “corpus” consisted of 56 slasher films with 474 victims.

Women were NOT the majority of victims. Men were the majority of slashers.

The profile of a female survivor?
- abstaining from sexual behaviour
- less overtly attractive than nonsurviving women
“sexually pure women survive”

The profile of a male survivor?
- not cynical
- not egotistical
- not dictatorial
“unmitigated masculinity” ends in death

=== MY TAKE ====
Reverse these cliches?
Blow them up?

Fear and Loathing at the Cineplex: Gender Differences in Descriptions and Perceptions of Slasher Films

- recall a high percentage of descriptive images associated with what is called rural terror,
(strangers and rural landscapes)
- report more anger and frustration responses.

- display a greater fear of family terror
(betrayed intimacy, stalkings, and spiritual possession)
- report a higher level and a greater number of fear reactions than males

Gender-specific fears as personalized through slasher film recall are discussed with relation to socialization practices and power-control theory:

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre scared me to death. It was intensely unpleasant, even though it’s a cheap splatter flick about some teenagers who get slaughtered by some deranged lunatics in rural Texas somewhere. I guess the most freaky thing about the movie is all the screaming. The one girl who barely escapes the chainsaw guy screams all throughout the movie. She is terrorized unrelentlessly, and after a series of close calls with the chainsaw she is finally rescued by a trucker. I was drained after seeing that film. The gore and graphic violence made me feel awful—almost guilty—for watching it.
—Participant No. 102, male undergraduate

= MY TAKE ==
Reverse these cliches?
Blow them up?


XX Horror ErikWeissengruber