Paul D. Shapiro

Someone to Sink Your Teeth Into: Gendered Biting Patterns on Buffy the Vampire Slayer – A Quantitative Analysis


Heralded as a groundbreaking television series throughout its seven year run, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is said to have challenged traditional gender and sex role stereotypes. Although the title emphasizes the word Vampire, most episodes did not, actually, contain vampire attacks. Through an in-depth quantitative content analysis we discover that in only 46 of the 144 episodes (32%) is there a clear-cut vampire bite or attempted bite. Only 34 episodes (23.6%) portray a successfully consummated bite. Of the 70 total vampire attacks, most are presented in real-time (n = 61, 87%), while 6 (9%) are present as flashbacks, or in a historical context. In 3 cases (4%), the bites occurred during explicit dream sequences. While much of the literature discussing the multiple facets of BtVS focuses on classic relationship dynamics, empowerment issues, feminist theory, and “girl power,