Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Children and Media

DOI of Published Version



This paper interrogates the construction of gender relations in the Twilight books and films, vis-à-vis issues of implicit and overt gender violence. A combination of ideological analysis, semiology, and feminist critique is used to examine the verbal and visual codes at work in these texts. Five dominant themes emerge: (1) the representation of violence as an inherent characteristic of masculinity; (2) the portrayal of male violence as a justifiable by-product of heterosexual relationships; (3) the definition of masculinity in terms of a dualism wherein “good” boys repudiate their own “instinctive” predilection for violence and “bad” boys allow it to go unchecked; (4) the continual imperilment of girls in situations from which they are rescued by boys; and (5) the assertion of control by boys over girls’ crucial life decisions. I conclude that Twilight works ideologically and visually to coax audiences to expect boys to be violent and girls to be compliant in regard to violence in the context of heterosexual relationships


adolescent popular culture, battering, femininity, gender violence, masculinity, Stephenie Meyer, Twilight, vampire

Published Article/Book Citation

The definitive version was published in Journal of Children and Media. vol. 6, iss. 3 (2012):281-299. DOI: 10.1080/17482798.2011.619549


Author posting. © 2011 Taylor & Francis. This article is posted here by permission of Taylor & Francis for personal use, not for redistribution.