What do media images tell us about women?

Posted on November 17th, 2011 by Maggie Castrey


Girls need to see women in power in order to believe they themselves can have power. The problem is, our film industry isn’t cooperating! Learn how you can help change the equation. According to SeeJane.org, research shows that:

What is the Ratio of Males to Females in Family Films?

  • Males outnumber females 3 to 1 in family films.
  • In contrast, females comprise just over 50% of the population in the United States.
  • Even more staggering is the fact that this ratio, as seen in family films, is the same as it was in 1946.

Are Females in Sexy Attire More than Men?

  • Females are almost four times as likely as males to be shown in sexy attire.
  • Further, females are nearly twice as likely as males to be shown with a diminutive waistline.
  • Generally unrealistic figures are more likely to be seen on females than males.

What is the Representation of Women Behind the Camera?

  • Females are also underrepresented behind the camera.
  • Across 1,565 content creators:
    • 7% of directors
    • 13% of writers
    • 20% of producers are female.
  • This translates to 4.8 males working behind-the-scenes to every one female.

Are Females in Any Leadership Roles in Family Films?

  • From 2006 to 2009, not one female character was depicted in G-rated family films in the field of medical science, as a business leader, in law, or politics.
  • In these films, 80.5% of all working characters are male and 19.5% are female, which is a contrast to real world statistics, where women comprise 50% of the workforce.
All facts are supported by research conducted by Dr. Stacy Smith, Ph.D. at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media

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