Department - Author 1

Communication Studies Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BA in Communication Studies



Primary Advisor

Bethany Anne Conway


This study investigated the portrayal of active and passive behaviors of male and female characters in Walt Disney Studio original animated films. It was hypothesized that males would exhibit more active behaviors than their female counterparts and that females would exhibit more passive behaviors than their male counterparts. The results indicated that both of these hypotheses were supported. The study also found that the least likely interaction of male and female characters was when the male character was being passive and the female character was being active. The most likely was male characters performing active behaviors and female characters performing passive behaviors. There was also evidence discovered that newer Disney films portray female protagonists performing more active behaviors than older Disney films but male characters were not shown to have any differences in behaviors between older and newer films. There is also a discussion how these findings might affect the population viewing the results through cultivation theory and suggestions for further research on the subject.