Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Suzanne Benack


Sexual Scripts, Initiation, Sex, Film


The majority of research regarding sexual scripts in the media has examined television, however films are also an interesting avenue for study. The current study attempted to look the particular script of initiation of sexual interactions through the medium of film. The study looked at 50 top grossing films from 1940-2018 including drama, comedy and action films. Initiation of sexual interaction was defined as moving from a state of no sexual intimacy to sexual intimacy. For example, a passionate kiss on the lips between lovers is initiation of sexual interaction, but a kiss on the cheek between family members is not initiation of sexual interactions because the motivation behind the kiss is not sexual in nature. Initiation scripts include how an individual courts another and how the courted individual responds. We examined change in initiation scripts over time and the variation in initiation scripts between genres. Special interest was placed on the gender, race, and relationship status of the actors in order to understand if their actions were societally acceptable.