Sexism in survival situations: Reconsidering gender in Jurassic Park

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The Jurassic Park film franchise offers a complex portrayal of gender issues within a long-running science fiction action series, although not one without problematic moments. This chapter examines a series of selected examples from the series to explore this complex picture. These include moments in the series that display female characters such as Ellie Sattler and Claire Dearing with power and agency and the top of their respective professions, noting that Jurassic Park is unusual among science fiction films for its presentation of accomplished female characters such as Sattler and Dearing. The chapter also addresses the sexualisation of the character Ian Malcolm, noting how the widespread circulation of images of Malcolm with his shirt open feeds into the fandom of actor Jeff Goldblum. Finally, it considers the question of sex and gender characteristics in non-human characters, namely the dinosaurs, as significant plot points advance upon the premise that the entire dinosaur population in the series consists of non-breeding females, a fact that is later shown to be untrue. The chapter addresses each of these examples through key issues relating to the production, presentation, and violation of the human and non-human living body across the full Jurassic Park series.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGender and action films 1980-2000
Subtitle of host publicationBeauty in motion
EditorsSteven Gerrard, Renee Middlemost
Place of PublicationBingley, United Kingdom
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Limited
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781801175067
ISBN (Print)9781801175074
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameEmerald Studies in Popular Culture and Gender
PublisherEmerald Publishing


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