“infidelity and betrayal in marriage: a content analysis of men who cheat in hollywood films”

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Infidelity and Betrayal in Infidelity and Betrayal in Marriage: Marriage: A Content Analysis of Men A Content Analysis of Men Who Cheat in Hollywood Who Cheat in Hollywood Films” Films” By: Carolyn Logan By: Carolyn Logan

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  • Infidelity and Betrayal in Marriage: A Content Analysis of Men Who Cheat in Hollywood Films

    By: Carolyn Logan

  • Persuasive PurposeTo analyze how extramarital affairs, as related to the male midlife crisis has been constructed in media, specifically in Hollywood films from the 1950s to 2005.The data collected from this analysis of films is utilized to identify a trend and the changes occurred over a period of time

  • Previous LiteratureMale Power and StatusGutmann (1997)Richardson (1988)Motives for Sexual Intimacy in AffairFair (1978)Farrer and Zhongzin (2003)Gender DifferencesBuunk (1984)Gordon (1990)Farrer and Zhongzin (2003)

  • THEORYSocial Construction of MasculinityGutmann (1997) Masculinity DefinedTesti (1997) Hegemonic masculinityBordo (1999) The Male Body: A New Look at Men in Public and in Private

  • MethodologyData was obtained through a content analysis of American films to assess how movies construct a married man having an affair.The sample of films used was released between the 1950s and the year 2005.The sample population was obtained from a list of movies found on the Internet Movie Database, amazon.com, and msn.com.Final sample size of 34 filmsStratified, random selection of films made for a total final sample of 12 films.Coding

  • 198420051980198319872005197919551990196019781997

  • FindingsDemographic characteristics of adulterous men in film

    100% White, 100% Heterosexual

    Age 58% (40s), 25% (20s), 17% (30s)

    50% Upper/Upper Middle Class, 33% Middle

    More than half of men had children (67%)

    1950s1960s1970s1980s1990s2000sTotalAverage Age45424133323137

  • The most common occupation was a businessman (58%), including accountants, bankers, attorneys, and others.

    TABLE 1: Adulterous Husbands OccupationFilms by Decades1950s1960s1970s1980s1990s2000sBusiness 1/1 (100%)Business 1/1 (100%)Business 1/2 (50%)Education 1/2 (50%)Business 2/4 (50%)Education 1/4 (25%)Construction 1/4 (25%)Mobster 1/2 (50%)N/A 1/2 (50%)Business 2/2 (100%)

  • TABLE 2: Lovers Marital Status1950s1960s1970s1980s1990s2000sTotalSingle1/1 (100%)1/1 (100%)0/2 (0%)4/4 (100%)1/2 (50%)2/2 (100%)9/12 (75%)Married0/1 (0%)0/1 (100%)1/2 (50%)0/4 (0%)1/2 (50%)0/2(0%)2/12 (17%)Divorced0/1 (0%)0/1 (0%)1/2 (50%)0/1 (0%)0/1 (0%)0/1 (0%)1/12 (8%)

  • TABLE 3: Events Leading to Time for Affair Lied to Wife 8/12 (67%)Works Late6/12 (50%)Sees Lover During the Day5/12 (42%)Took Lover to Nightclub/Bar5/12 (42%)Cheated While Away on Business4/12 (33%)Cheated While Wife was Away2/12 (17%)

  • TABLE 4: HUSBAND/LOVER RELATIONSHIP1950s & 1960s1970s1980s1990s2000sTotalWHERE THE AFFAIR TOOK PLACEHusbands Apt.2/2 (100%)Lovers Apt.1/2 (50%)Hotel 1/2 (50%)Lovers Apt.2/4 (50%)Hotel 2/4 (50%)Lovers Apt.2/2 (100%)Lovers Apt.1/2 (50%)Hotel 1/2 (50%)Lovers Apt.6/12 (50%)Hotel 4/12 (33%)Husbands Apt.2/12 (17%) FORM OF COMMUNICATION BTW. HUSBAND AND LOVERMeeting Places 2/2 (100%)Telephone 1/2 (50%)Both 1/2 (50%)Telephone 3/4 (75%)Meeting Places 1/4 (25%)Meeting Places 1/2 (50%)Both 1/2 (50%)Both 2/2 (100%)Meeting Places 4/12 (33%)Telephone 4/12 (33%)Both 4/12 (33%)HOW HUSBAND MET HIS LOVERNeighbors 2/2 (100%)Nightclub/Bar 1/2 (50%)Away on Business 1/2 (50%)Work 2/4 (50%)Nightclub 1/4 (25%)Away on Business 1/2 (25%)Called for Hooker 1/4 (25%)Nightclub/Bar 1/2 (50%)Neighbors 1/2 (50%)Work 1/2 (50%)Family 1/2 (50%)Nightclub/Bar 4/12 (33%)Work 3/12 (25%)Away on Business 2/12 (17%)Neighbors 2/12 (17%)Family 1/12 (8%) Called for Hooker 1/12 (8%)

  • TABLE 5: MOTIVE AND CONSEQUENCE OF AFFAIR1950s & 1960s1970s1980s1990s2000sTotalMOTIVEAttraction 2/2 (100%)Attraction 2/2 (100%)Attraction 3/4 (75%)Marital Deprivation 4/4 (100%)Pressure 2/4 (50%)Sexual Circumstances 1/4 (25%)Sexual Variety 1/4 (25%)Revenge 1/4 (25%)Attraction 2/2 (100%)Marital Deprivation 1/2 (50%)Sexual Variety 1/2 (50%)Pressure 2/2 (100%)Attraction 2/2 (100%)Marital Deprivation 1/2 (50%)Sexual Variety 1/2 (50%)Pressure 1/2 (50%)Attraction 11/12 (92%)Marital Deprivation 6/12 (50%)Pressure 5/12 (42%)Sexual Variety 3/12 (25%)Sexual Circumstances 1/12 (8%)Revenge (8%)CONSEQUENCENothing 2/2 (100%)Nothing 2/2 (100%)Nothing 2/4 (50%)Death of Lover 1/4 (25%)Lover Attempts to Kill Husband 1/4 (25%)Revenge 1/4 (25%)Bribery 1/4 (25%)Wife Stays 1/2 (50%)Revenge 1/2 (50%)Lover Attempts to Kill Husband 1/2 (50%)Death of Lover 1/2 (50%)Threatened to Tell Wife 1/2 (50%)Bribery 1/2 (50%)Nothing 7/12 (58%)Revenge 2/12 (17%)Threatened to Tell Wife 2/12 (17%)Bribery 2/12 (17%)Death of Lover 2/12 (17%)Lover Attempts to Kill Husband 2/12 (17%)

  • Table 6

    WIFES REACTIONWIFES ROLEWife Found Out 5/12 (42%)Husband Admitted 3/12 (25%)Wife Never Found Out 2/12 (17%)N/A 2/12 (17%)Wife Stayed in the End 8/12 (67%)Questioned Husband 6/12 (50%)Wife Outraged and Left 3/12 (25%)Wife Took Revenge 2/12 (17%)Wife Had No Knowledge 2/12 (17%)

  • Findings Cont.Amount of Shame shown by the husbandHalf (50%) showed no shame or regretsHalf (50%) showed men being depressed, nervous, and stressedAmount of Nudity exposed in films1950s, 60s, & 70s No Nudity Shown1980s 2005 Moderate to Extreme amt. of NudityData here shows that sexuality in Hollywood films has been more open and socially acceptable on the screen since the 80s.

  • DiscussionThe typical adulterous male in Hollywood film is a white, 37 year old heterosexual businessman, married with children.Age of husband during time of affair decreased over the decades.Having children does not necessarily mean your marriage is more stable.Power-imbalanced relationshipsBusinessmen are more likely to cheat on their wives than men in other occupations.Today we have more easily accessible and available forms of communicating with one another.The Feminist Movement

  • Questions