Telenovelas and attitudes toward the LGBTQ+ community in Latin America
Speaker(s)Alejandra Ramos (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)
LocationTinbergen Institute Amsterdam, room 1.01
Date and time
September 12, 2023
15:30 - 16:30
How does exposure to soap operas with LGBTQ+ characters affect attitudes toward the LGBTQ+ community? To answer this question, we construct a novel database of 175 Telenovelas (soap operas) with LGBTQ+ characters airing in 14 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean between 2002 and 2019. Exploiting variation in the introduction of new soap operas with LGBTQ+ characters within country and survey-waves, we find that individuals exposed to more soap operas with LGBTQ+ characters are less tolerant toward the LGBTQ+ community. This short-term backlash is driven by shows with comedic storylines. The effect is stronger among traditionally more conservative individuals (e.g. older or frequently attending religious services). Joint paper with Selim Gulesci and Maria Lombardi.