Saturday, April 16, 2005

Gay TV characters may reduce homophobia

Three studies at the University of Minnesota found a significant difference measuring students before and after watching shows like "Queer Eye," "Will & Grace" and "Six Feet Under."

Hundreds of studies have supported what is known as the "contact hypothesis," which suggests that direct contact between majority and minority groups helps lessen prejudice.

The new studies led the researchers to develop what they call the "parasocial contact hypothesis," which suggests that a similar reduction in prejudice can be achieved by watching members of the minority groups on TV or in films.