After selecting and viewing one of the films listed on the next page, the student will write a 4-5page critical evaluation on whether the sexuality issue/s portrayed in the film was accuratelydepicted in the character. You must use reliable research on the sexuality topic portrayed in thefilm so that you are prepared to say whether the viewer would be misinformed or informedproperly about the sexuality issues portrayed in the film. Cite any research used (minimum 3sources)
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Human Sexuality Move Critique
Critical Evaluation of the Depictions of Human Sexuality in the Movies.
This assignment will help you examine popular culture and movies to see how they shape our ideas
about sexuality. Like television, films tend to depict sexual stereotypes and to adhere to
mainstream sexual norms. Media educators Gross and Gerbner argue that the commercial structure
of the mass media limits the opportunity for representing diverse characters. Too often networks
and film companies shy away from portraying the multiple and diverse dimensions of sexuality
for fear of alienating or offending advertisers, investors, and audiences
This assignment is to assess whether you are able to critically evaluate depictions of people’s
sexual behaviors in feature films. Many motion pictures portray the diversity in human sexuality
in inaccurate ways, leading to misunderstanding and heightened stigmatization of people who do
not adhere to the mainstream sexual norms. Some movies, however, are lauded for dispelling
stereotypes and providing accurate insight into human sexuality. Films, like any forms of media,
have a powerful impact on how we view the sexuality of others and ourselves. Negative and or
misinformed attitudes about sexuality leave people vulnerable to neglecting and understanding
their own sexual needs and being judgmental of others. Providing accurate information can help
correct fears, myths and misconceptions many people have about the diversity present in our
society. Studies have shown that a combination of education and face-to-face interaction has a
greater impact on changing attitudes than using either strategy in isolation.
After selecting and viewing one of the films listed on the next page, the student will write a 4-5
page critical evaluation on whether the sexuality issue/s portrayed in the film was accurately
depicted in the character. You must use reliable research on the sexuality topic portrayed in the
film so that you are prepared to say whether the viewer would be misinformed or informed properly
about the sexuality issues portrayed in the film. Cite any research used (minimum 3 sources)
The paper must include the following: 1. What was the sexual content/messages of the movie? 2.
Was the content/messages stereotypical of our culture and if so, how? 3. Do you think it was an
accurate portrayal of sexuality in our culture? Why or why not? A minimum of 5 examples of
correct or inaccurate depictions (comparisons) must be included in the paper. 4. Would you change
this movie in any way to better portray this sexuality issue? 5. What implicit and explicit messages
does this movie contain about sex and sexuality? What do you think about these messages? Are
they positive or negative?
This written assignment should be typed, double-spaced, using a 12-point Times New Roman font
and 1-inch margins. Do not hand in your only copy, keep an electronic copy. Be sure your name,
course number, and the date are included on the assignment. Staple papers in the top left corner;
no folders or report covers.
The following films are approved by me for this assignment. If you want to select another
movie that is not on the list, please see me, I MUST approve your alternate film selection.
The Birdcage (1996) A gay cabaret owner and his drag queen companion agree to put up a false
straight front so that their son can introduce them to his fiancé’s right-wing moralistic parents.
Boys Don’t Cry (1999) A drama film based on the real-life story of Brandon Teena, a
transsexual man who was raped and murdered by his male friends after they discovered his
gender history. The movie received lots of media attention when its star Hilary Swank, who
played Brandon, won the Academy Award for Best Actress.(Drama, Transsexual)
Brokeback Mountain- Sexuality of both characters portrayed as fluid. The film displays a love
relationship between same-sex male partners in the American West; who are simultaneously
struggling with their opposite gender relationships. Self-acknowledgement and self-acceptance in
recognizing one’s own sexual identity is portrayed. (Drama) (Gay, questioning)
The Crying Game (1992) The Crying Game is about the experiences of Fergus (Stephen Rea),
as a member of the IRA, his brief but meaningful encounter with Jody (Forest Whitaker) who is
held prisoner by the group, and his unexpected romantic relationship with Jody’s transgendered
girlfriend, Dil (Jaye Davidson) whom Fergus promised Jody he would protect. However,
unexpected events force Fergus to decide what he wants for the future, and ultimately what his
nature dictates he must do. (Psychological thriller)
Flawless (1999) An ultraconservative police officer (DeNiro) suffers a debilitating stroke and is
assigned to a rehabilitative program that includes singing lessons – with the drag queen next
In and Out Howard Brackett’s high school English students are astonished. Is it really true that
their favorite high school teacher may be gay? But hey, he can’t be gay; he’s about to get
married! Then again, he also teaches the drama class and boy, does he love those Barbra
Streisand records. (Comedy, Gay, questioning)
Kinsey is a 2004 biographical film written and directed by Bill Condon. It describes the life of
Alfred Kinsey (played by Liam Neeson), a pioneer in the area of sexology. His 1948 publication,
Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (the first of the Kinsey Reports) was one of the first
recorded works that tried to scientifically address and investigate sexual behavior in
humans.(Drama, sexuality research)
Midnight Cowboy-Hustler Buck forms an unlikely friendship with junky Rico “Ratso” Rizzo.
Academy Award winner for Best Picture. (Drama, Male Prostitution)
Milk (2008) The story of Harvey Milk (Sean Penn), and his struggles as an American gay
activist who fought for gay rights and became California’s first openly gay elected official.
(Drama, Gay rights)
Monster is a 2003 crime drama film about serial killer Aileen Wuornos, a former prostitute who
was executed in Florida in 2002 for killing six men (she was not tried for a seventh murder) in
the late 1980s and early 1990s. Wuornos was played by Charlize Theron and her fictionalized
lover, Selby Wall (based on Wuornos’ real lover Tyria Moore), was played by Christina Ricci.
Philadelphia- When a man with AIDS is fired by a conservative law firm because of his
condition, he hires a homophobic small time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful
Reader- Focuses on the definition and consequences of sexual abuse. It involves the relationship
between a teenager and a much older woman (Kate Winslet) in post WWII Germany.
Secretary. Shainberg’s exploration of Gyllenhaall’s levels of s&m (from her cutting to complete
submissive to Spader) actually pulls its audience into her world allowing us to feel some level of
pain. Is it uncomfortable and painful to watch at times? Yes, and that is what makes Secretary a
perfect film about s & m. Spader plays the part of the domineering boss to a tea with little hints
of him being submissive to Gyllenhaal.
Taken- A retired CIA agent travels across Europe and relies on his old skills to save his
estranged daughter, who was kidnapped on a trip to Paris to be sold into prostitution. Sex
(Drama, Sex Trafficking)
To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar- Three drag queens (Wesley Snipes,
Patrick Swayze and John Leguizamo) travel cross-country until their car breaks down, leaving
them stranded in a small town. (Comedic drama, transsexuals)
TransAmerica (2005) A comedy-drama starring Felicity Huffman, who plays Bree, a
transsexual woman. At its heart, “Transamerica” (Weinstein) explores familiar themes of family
bonds, interpersonal connection and parent-child dysfunction, but with an unconventional and
morally problematic twist: The parent here is a preoperative transsexual man.
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Critical Evaluation Paper
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