Saturday, May 06, 2006

Missing the "G"irls in G-rated Films

This today from Kevin Drum, Washington Monthy:

DIVERSITY REDUX.... News about the portrayal of boys vs. girls in G-rated films:

  • There are three male characters for every female.

  • Fewer than one out of three (28 percent) of the speaking characters (real and animated) are female.

  • Less than one in five (17 percent) of the characters in crowd scenes are female.

  • More than four out of five (83 percent) of films’ narrators are male.

"The full report, based on the 101 top-grossing G-rated films from 1990 to 2004, is here. The authors also note that males are less likely than females to be portrayed as parents and that nonwhite males are way less likely to be portrayed as parents. In addition, Black and Hispanic
males are extremely scarce in G-rated films (they appear at well under half their actual rate in the general population), and when they are present they're far more often portrayed as violent than white males."

USA Today offers the only notable coverage reporting research findings from the University of California, and even then gives the bulk of its 450 words to a counter critique that would dismiss the study as "overplaying the issue."

The research is sponsored by Geena Davis, Golden Globe winner for her role as the first female U.S. president in the TV show Commander in Chief. Davis' group, See Jane, plans several more studies of G-rated movies. Davis, 50 and herself a mother of three, says the group aims to promote balance in movies, a distribution of roles in movies where women and girls "have half of the adventures" and are just as interesting as men.

You wouldn't think that a difficult goal to accomplish, would you?

1 comment:

Wil said...

Not really desiring to stir up a hornets nest here, but that last statistic enumerated, the 83% of narrations are by men, makes sense to me -- women's voices are simply not as pleasing to the ear as men's voices.

Nevermind that women read the most stories to their small children, it's the depth and timbre achievable with a male's voice that fires up the audience.

I know, I know. I wear my porkitude proudly. But I'm just saying -- I almost ALWAYS turn to a different radio station when confronted by a female jock -- their voices simply grate upon my nerves. And who needs that? CBS has lost me as a news viewer with their choice of Katie Couric as anchor. (Not that they ever had me -- I haven't really watched CBS News since Walter Cronkite retired)