Washington: A recent study has found that over the past fifteen years there has been an improvement in how women are portrayed in films, they are nowadays more often cast as characters holding positions of power. The study analysed how gender and age are represented in popular films.
The research analyzed 50 of the 56 top-grossing US films released in 2016 and found that about 323 characters out of 986 were played by women and out of 484 main characters, 154 were female leads. Although women are still under-represented in films, this was seen as a significant improvement.
More heartening results were found when the diversity of main characters in 2016 films was compared with diversity in 2002 movies. Women were noticed to be on equal footing with men when it came to leadership roles, social aggression, and setting goals. Female lead characters were more likely to hold high-ranking positions and were more regularly seen displaying physical aggression. Additionally, women outperformed men in terms of goal achievement, succeeding more often than their male counterparts.
Conor Neville of Saint Joseph’s University said, “Progress has been made but men still outnumber women 2:1 in films, which means that the more powerful representations of women seen in our sample are not getting the screen exposure comparable to their proportion in the real world.”
He added that these more powerful portrayals need to be seen more often in order to reduce the gender inequality that leads to women being perceived as less important than men.
The study appears in Journal Sex Roles (ANI)