A study conducted by the See Jane program — a project of Geena Davis and Dads and Daughters — found that children’s movies and television programs lack prominent female characters and characters of color. The study, titled “Now You See ‘Em, Now You Don’t: Gender and Racial Disparity in TV for Children,” analyzes the ratio of male and female characters and characters of color in children’s movies and television shows. Researchers at the University of Southern California coded and analyzed characters in over 1,000 children’s popular TV shows and movies.
According to data from the report, “three quarters of all the single, speaking characters on children’s television were white, giving young television viewers a distorted ethnic worldview.” The data also revealed that male characters appeared 1.87 times more than female characters. Male characters were also found to be less likely to be portrayed as parents or in long term relationships than female characters, enforcing the gender stereotype of a nurturing woman to children at a very young age.
The See Jane report suggested that parents closely screen their children’s programs and make sure that they contain diverse roles and positive images. See Jane believes that a wide variety of characters ranging in gender and ethnicity are essential to the healthy development of young boys and girls. LEARN MORE Read “Now You See ‘Em, Now You Don’t: Gender and Racial Disparity in TV for Children” (PDF)