The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is the most popular film franchise in terms of box-office dollars. This superhero franchise has the power to influence their vast and dedicated audience greatly regarding gender. Social cognitive theory and cultivation theory shows that MCU movies could influence the gender schemas some people have. Previous research has shown that men are often portrayed as evil and as preparators of violence. Women that are violent are considered unnatural and go against gender stereotypes. Evil women are often portrayed as victims of circumstance or good women that are compelled to be evil for a short time. This study is a content analysis of the MCU films in phases one through three, which focuses on gender, moral alignment, and rewards for violence. There is an increase in the percent of female main characters over the course of the phases. There are high percentages of females that are rated "good" and a higher percentage of males that are "evil." There is no significant relationship between gender and rewards for violence. Although there appears to be progress in portraying men and women similarly, there is still progress to be made.
College and Department
Fine Arts and Communications
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Ray, Kristen, "Gender Portrayal in Marvel Cinematic Universe Films: Gender Representation, Moral Alignment, and Rewards for Violence" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 8528.
Marvel, gender, violence, morality