Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts

Major

Communication

Date of Defense

4-22-2015

Graduate Advisor

Alice Hall, PhD.

Committee

Lara Zwarun, Ph. D

Yan Tian, Ph.D

Abstract

This study investigated whether exposure to reality dating shows shaped participants’ perceptions of reality and permissive sexual attitudes, with the incorporation of more recent reality dating shows. A sample of 156 college-aged students participated in an online survey. Gender predicted the amount of exposure to reality dating shows, with females watching more than males. Heavy exposure was not a predictor of permissive sexual attitudes. Heavy exposure did predict how realistic the viewers perceived the reality dating shows to be. However, perceived realism was not related to permissive sexual attitudes. Perceived realism also did not play a moderating or mediating role in the relationship between permissive sexual attitudes and exposure to reality dating shows. This study provided limited support for Cultivation Theory and challenged previous research in this area.

Share

COinS