Acting gender: Actors’ experiences of gender role conformity and hopes for their characters

Clare Cook*, Thomas V. Pollet, Jamie L. Callahan

*Corresponding author for this work

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Studies have found that audiences are often presented with characters that conform with traditional gender roles but there to date has been no empirical investigation into these characters from the actors’ perspective. We investigated the extent to which actors (n = 318) were required to conform to traditional gender roles in the course of their work and the disparity between their acted and ideal characters. We found that both male and female actors were required to portray traditional gender roles but that men were required to conform with these traditional notions of gender to a greater extent, resulting in the broadcast of a masculinized ideal. Both male and female actors indicated they would prefer to portray characters that conform less with traditional gender roles than their most recent character. Our findings support calls from audience driven research for movement away from the portrayal of traditional gender roles within the arts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
Early online date13 Jul 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Jul 2023

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