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This is relevant to my interests...

Guh. I woke up too early and then ran around in the rain for a while. No, really.

Anyway, just tossing this out because it's relevant to my interests.

Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media

For the data-lovers, like me, this is like a jackpot of research on women in the media. Just culling a few quotes from their Main Findings (PDF file):

- A study analyzing 400 films from all ratings (well, up to R), revealed 73% of the speaking characters to be male.

- Quoting the findings page:

"Females were over five times as likely as males to be shown in sexually revealing clothing, which was defined as attire that enhances, exaggerates, or calls attention to any part of the body from neck to knees.

Females were nearly three times as likely as males (10.6% vs. 3.4%) to be shown with a thin figure."

- In another study analyzing gender roles in children's TV, male characters appeared roughly two times more than female characters. Also, this:

"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 waist line. Unrealistic figures are more likely to be seen on females than males."


( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 20th, 2010 09:16 pm (UTC)
I READ THIS. YAY ontd_feminism

And wow, I love Geena Davis even more for doing it. ♥

Edited at 2010-05-20 09:17 pm (UTC)
May. 20th, 2010 09:26 pm (UTC)
Ah, I was wondering where I got the link...tabbed browsing means never knowing where the hell you came from.

And YES! *loves Geena Davis*
May. 20th, 2010 09:42 pm (UTC)
Another statistic I found interesting:

More than four out of five (83%) of the films' narrators are male.

So not only are women's bodies the sexy ones on display, but the authoritative voice is male. Thinking on that, it makes me so happy that Cate Blanchett was the narrative voice for the beginning of LotR.
May. 20th, 2010 09:56 pm (UTC)
Heh. Cate Blanchett narrating in LOTR was immediately what I thought of when I saw that stat.

I've been enjoying this paper about female representation in films both in front of and behind the camera. 'Tis interesting.
May. 20th, 2010 10:03 pm (UTC)
Julie Andrews does some work as The Narrator for animated films. Enchanted for one and did she narrate for The Princess Diaries? Maybe Angela Lansbury has done some also.

Oooh, the paper you linked to is great!
May. 20th, 2010 10:29 pm (UTC)
Sigourney Weaver was the narrator for The Tale of Despereaux, though the Anglophile in me didn't really like her and kinda wished they'd gotten one of those British Grande Dames like Judy Dench or Maggie Smith to narrate a fairy tale about a mouse and a princess with art inspired by the Dutch masters.

I love it when British people tell me stories. Especially in children/young adult fantasy books on tape, though those usually are predominately male.
May. 21st, 2010 12:51 am (UTC)
Let's talk about how much I love Cate Blanchett THIS MUCH.

So excited to see Robin Hood tomorrow!
May. 20th, 2010 09:43 pm (UTC)
I had no idea there was a Geena Davis Institute. Go Geena!

Thanks for that link.
May. 20th, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC)
You're welcome! :)
May. 20th, 2010 10:37 pm (UTC)
i'm full of squee. so many random facts so little time!!!!
May. 20th, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
May. 21st, 2010 02:55 am (UTC)
no really! i love finding interesting facts this looks like one of the coolest sights i've found in a while... yes my coolness meters a it uhhh different then most peoples.
May. 20th, 2010 11:23 pm (UTC)
I love Geena Davis, she has been on this for years and years. I'm really excited this is getting some attention.

Females were nearly three times as likely as males (10.6% vs. 3.4%) to be shown with a thin figure."

How in the shitting hell are we describing "thin"? Because, 10.6%? Not it.
May. 20th, 2010 11:39 pm (UTC)
How in the shitting hell are we describing "thin"? Because, 10.6%? Not it.

I wondered the same thing. I'm in the process of reading the details so I can check out the methodology of the studies (some of the content analyses seems very subjective, but there's no real way to get around that).
May. 20th, 2010 11:49 pm (UTC)
Ah. From Footnote 11 in this study (it's a PDF file):

"Thinness refers to the amount of fat a character’s
body possesses. To facilitate judgments on this variable, coders received 4 sets of
silhouettes derived from body image research (modified version of Collins, 1991 scales)
of girls/women and boys/men that illuminate a single individual on a 7-point scale
ranging from extremely thin to extremely overweight. A one on the scale is coded as
extremely thin (e.g., no shape or curve), a two on the scale is coded as thin (e.g., minimal
shape and curve), and all other values are assigned to “not thin.” Prior to running
analysis, the two thinness categories were collapsed."

I'd be interested in seeing these silhouettes.
May. 21st, 2010 12:50 am (UTC)
Hmm, okay. Yeah, I wonder if by 'extremely thin' they mean like totally starved anorexic or something.
May. 21st, 2010 12:55 am (UTC)
How in the shitting hell are we describing "thin"? Because, 10.6%? Not it.

Yeah, that was my reaction, too.
May. 21st, 2010 12:14 am (UTC)
For that matter, how are they defining "attire that enhances, exaggerates, or calls attention to any part of the body"? Since I'm pretty sure that a man's business suit is designed to do just that (emphasising the shoulders, tie pointing directly at the genitals like an arrow) and for that matter, trousers are designed to emphasise the legs and buttocks.

(I've just been reading a book on 14th century English life, and it made a big deal out of how utterly scandalous it was in around 1350 or so, when fashionable men started wearing tight-fitting leggings and short tunics that barely came down a couple of inches past their belts, rather than the baggy shapeless ankle-length robes their fathers had worn. Hence why I'm thinking about this...)

May. 21st, 2010 12:26 am (UTC)
Not sure. But you're free to read the studies and check out their criteria. :)

Though I have a feeling that they're thinking more in line of bikinis, halter tops, and high heels rather than a man's business suit.
May. 21st, 2010 04:07 am (UTC)
I'd say a codpiece gives more emphasis than a tie hidden beneath a buttoned jacket. :P
May. 21st, 2010 04:40 am (UTC)

Thinking some more on it, most clothes "enhance" a person's body in some way. I mean, pants can "flatter" your hips or ass. A shirt could draw attention to someone's neck or biceps or whatever. That's good fashion.

What I imagine the study is doing (and I haven't read the study they're getting that stat from, so I'm just speculating wildly), is taking examples that go to the extreme in a sexualized manner. Sure, a sweater could really make your tits look awesome, but an extremely low-cut blouse that constantly threatens to spill the boobies is another beast entirely.

But I'm just guessing. I would like to see more codpieces, though. Just for the lulz.
May. 21st, 2010 05:27 am (UTC)
I think it said something about "skintight" clothes in there. So I'd say it's clothes that reveals flesh like say a man's shirt that dips down past the sternum is sexy or a skintight wifebeater that shows off all the sexy muscles.

Meanwhile, for women probably a cleavage-y shirt and a super short skirt, or a skintight dress (Cordy loved wearing those in BtVS, there was a blue one that was super tight and left nothing to the imagination but I mean why do you need imagination when Charisma Carpenter has a body that won't quit? ... anyways).

May. 21st, 2010 12:48 am (UTC)
Oooh, cool stuff. Well, not cool, cause you know, sexism...but anyways. :)

This quote kind of surprised me: Females were nearly three times as likely as males (10.6% vs. 3.4%) to be shown with a thin figure. They must be defining 'thin' super-narrowly, cause I would have thought at least a majority of female characters in media would be thin...
May. 21st, 2010 01:43 am (UTC)
Numbers are always cool stuff...even if it's numbers about sexism. :)

They must be defining 'thin' super-narrowly, cause I would have thought at least a majority of female characters in media would be thin...

Yeah, that seemed strange. Although they were taking into account any character that had any speaking part, so a cleaning lady in one scene who yells at the hero to stop running would count. I'm wondering if those peripheral characters make up the bulk of the female parts (one of the studies goes in detail about how few actual female leads there are).

But that's just random guessing. I'd like to see the models they were using.

Edited at 2010-05-21 01:43 am (UTC)
May. 21st, 2010 03:17 am (UTC)
good song choice
So very not surprising data... :|
May. 21st, 2010 03:40 am (UTC)
Re: good song choice
lol! I had to scroll up to look at the song. That was coincidental. LJ catches whatever my mp3 play's playing at the time. :)
May. 22nd, 2010 01:01 am (UTC)
Re: good song choice
Whoa! What a fantastic coincidence then! :D
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )


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