An Investigation of female Characters in popular films across 11 Countries

Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Marc Choueiti, & Dr. Katherine Pieper with assistance from Yu-Ting Liu & Christine Song Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative USC Annenberg [01-05-2016]

The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence and nature of female characters in popular films from 11 countries around the world.

#1 Global Alert: Girls are Nowhere to be Scene
A total of 5,799 speaking or named characters on screen were evaluated, with 30.9% female and 69.1% male. This calculates into a gender ratio of 2.24 males to every one female. Turning to protagonists, only 23.3% of the films had a girl or woman as a lead or co lead driving the plot.

#2 A Ray of Hope: More Female Filmmakers, More Female Characters On Screen

#3 No Matter the Territory, Female Characters Cannot Escape An Emphasis on Appearance

#4 The Leering Lens: Fictional Females Aged 13-39 Equally Sexualized

#5 Widespread Gender Disparity: On Screen Inequality Doesn’t Mirror Real World Roles

#6 Female Executives are an Endangered Species in International Films

#7 No Justice for Fictional Females in Law, Medicine, and Academia

#8 No Seeds Being Planted for Women and Girls in STEM With Males Outpacing Females by Over 7 to 1