The Modern Family, Season Three Episode 2 – Term Paper

A while back, church members were told, “Gay people got a right to be as miserable as everybody else.” A stereotype is a social psychology concept that underlies the grouping or generalized assumption about specific people or their way of doing things. While these thoughts or generalized assumption may hold true, some assumptions may not accurately reflect the truth about the categorized or labeled groups.  In television shows, there are many ways that specific groups are stereotyped, and modern family is such a show that is driven by their success in stereotyping different aspects of life and groups. In this paper, the author hypothesizes that modern family show wrongly exploits the gay stereotypes to drive viewer population.

The gay community has been reduced to their label of sexuality, and the modern family has enforced the stereotypes of sexualities from the beginning of the show.  For example, the scriptwriters use the gay characteristics to develop the plot.  Peter goes to a medical research center to participate in an experimental program that rewards participants with cash. Peter is injected with a gay gene that drives him to find potential gay mates and ends up losing Lois his girlfriend of years as he changes gay partners. The modern family diminishes the straight people like Peter to gay labels where he is given characters perceived and or associated with gay people.

Being gay is linked to money and misdemeanor

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Peter is portrayed as a gay in most scenes by his choice of dress. For example, Peter prefers wearing the headscarf, high heel, and lipstick. He also has an absolute preference of feminine fragrance and body oil.  In his communication with Lois, he often spoke with affection that was not the case before he was injected with the gay gene. Lois was also accepted his new husband Peter without knowing where he got his fabulous demeanor. All of a sudden, Peter started developing a unique interest for musicals, and straight camp (ABC, 2016).  The show uses fabulous manners, musical, and love for straight camp and associates them with the gay people.  Peter loudly says that he could not agree to the 11-ways orgy and the way he speaks about the underwear wearing men with a limp wrist. A limp wrist was an antigay gem and introducing the term to the children makes the show a major perpetrator of gay stereotypes (Fingerhut and Peplau 273-278). The TV show also stereotypes gay characters, and this is particularly in the relationship between Peter and Brian when they talk about being gay. Peter explains that unlike the heteronormative society, they should have a man and woman relationship. 

The modern family uses money as the key driver to gays. Many of the straight participants are turned into gay people because of their general preference for easy money and a good life that money can buy. As Peter changed mates, he mainly chose the men with money who can guarantee him a good life.  Peter keep on changing partners, he often cruised for anonymous sex and mostly frequented the hypersexual clubs.  He often preferred sexual orgy camps and while with the straight person; he often used double entendres. Peter is presented as the man in the relationship, and Brian is portrayed as the woman, which is rather stereotyping, as there does not have to be a mother and father in a homosexual relationship (Boysen et al. 329-360). On the other hand, the family person also projects gay relationship to involve both make and female. Therefore, when Brian Griffin had sex with Ida, Brian Griffin vomited after learning that Ida was a transgender and not gay. The show presents gay people as loving other gay people or lusting after straight people but is not into transgender.  The shows misrepresented the fact to exploit the gay and transgender experiences to drive views.

When one is presented as a keen on fashions and a good at dressing, they are associated with gay people. This is stereotyping because good grooming and preference for fashion is a personal choice and preferences and does not mean one is gay. There are individuals who dress well, are keen on fashion, and are highly artsy and very extravagant spenders who are straight. In the show, there are also stereotypical mistakes made by the scriptwriters. For example, before anybody could imagine Peter as a gay teenage he was portrayed as a teenager with confused gender and sexuality just because he had some gay characteristics but did not fit properly into the gay criteria. It is clear that even though there are gay stereotypes (Fingerhut and Peplau 273-278). No stereotype confirms one’s gay sexuality because gay people came in different color, nature, and demeanors. Just like in the Fox’s Family Guy, when peter’s father was transitioning to a female gender. Gay people are often wrongly presented as effeminate with female characters. Transgender is still considered a taboo, but the way the show portray transgender and gays makes the audiences question what being a transgender and what being gay is. 

In conclusion, gay agenda has often been projected in the media and the media’s exploitation of the gay stereotypes to drives view. The modern family TV show and other documentaries have for long exploited stereotypes in ways that just generalize behaviorism of specific people on the entire community. The portrayal of the gay people are overly effeminate, fashion conscious, and sexually active is wrong as each gay person is just as unique as each straight person is.  Even though a group of gay people may exhibit similar behaviors, not all gay people meet the gay criteria. In a nutshell, gay stereotyping is wrong from the beginning.


ABC, “Watch Modern Family TV Show – ABC.Com.” ABC. N.p., 2016. Web. 25 Nov. 2016.

Boysen, Guy A. et al. “The Mental Health Stereotype About Gay Men: The Relation Between Gay Men’s Self-Stereotype And Stereotypes About Heterosexual Women And Lesbians.” Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 30.4 (2011): 329-360. Web.

Fingerhut, Adam W. and Letitia Anne Peplau. “The Impact Of Social Roles On Stereotypes Of Gay Men.” Sex Roles 55.3-4 (2006): 273-278. Web.