With Mother’s Day approaching, many people can turn to television shows to provide classic examples of various types of mothers.

A Texas Tech University assistant professor studied how women’s gender roles on TV shows have evolved. She found characters are growing to reflect a more accurate depiction of women in today’s society.

Kristi Humphreys, an assistant professor in the School of Art, focused her research on how women were portrayed on television throughout the decades.

Humphreys found television shows in the 1960s featured women as more domestic when in reality, how women were portrayed did not match the reality of the amount of housework. Humphreys said one of the reasons a disconnect exists is because many of the shows were written by men.

Gradually over time more men were seen as doing household duties, in shows such as “The Cosby Show” in the 1980s.

Viewers began seeing more of a domestic reality in the 1990s and 2000s in shows like “Roseanne.”

For more information on Humphreys’ research, visit here.


Kristi Humphreys, assistant professor, School of Art, College of Visual & Performing Arts, Texas Tech University, (806) 834-5756 or [email protected].

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