Dec 7, 2012

Richard Farmer’s chunky bits: women welcome in media, as long as thin, pretty and not a CEO

In family films, few females occupy clout positions across eight different sectors with only two women in the surveyed programs being shown in the executive office of major corporations (i.e. CEOs, CFOs, Presidents, VPs, GMs). Plus other politics news.

Richard Farmer

Crikey political commentator

Stereotyped, s-xualised, and underrepresented. That's the lot of women and girls on movie and television screens. And the discrimination extends all the way down to TV shows for children and family movies. A new report from the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media (founded by the Oscar-winning actress) details just how alive gender imbalance is in the media. From analysing 11,927 speaking characters for gender roles across top-grossing family films,  prime time TV and children's shows, it provides multiple indicators pointing to the fact that females are not as prevalent on screen as males.

"Traditional domestic roles are still gender linked in entertainment, but only in certain media and on certain indicators. In family films, females are more likely than males to be portrayed as parents (56% vs. 44.1%) and depicted in a committed romantic relationship (65.7% vs. 54.1%).6 In children’s shows, only parental status varies by gender (females=60% vs. males=29.3%)." Interestingly, no gender differences emerge in prime time across these two domesticity variables. S-xiness is gendered across all three media, with females far more likely than males to be depicted wearing s-xy attire (tight or alluring apparel), showing some exposed skin (between the mid chest and high upper thigh region), thin, and referenced by another character (verbally or nonverbally) as physically attractive or desirous."

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