See Jane, a project of Dads and Daughters, released a report last week detailing the prevalence of male characters in children’s media and emphasizing the importance of creating greater gender balance in the future. The report found that in the 101 films studied, there was only one female character for every three male characters. The imbalance was even greater in crowd scenes (only 17 percent were female) and among narrators (83 percent were male). The report, entitled “G Movies Give Boys a D: Portraying Males as Dominant, Disconnected and Dangerous,” further pointed to the aggression that appeared more often in male characters. The authors of the report consider these representations in children’s media to be especially powerful, as they “help influence a child’s important developmental task of understanding what it means to be male or female.”
Geena Davis, Academy-Award-winning actress and current star of ABC‘s “Commander in Chief,” has worked extensively with See Jane, and was on hand for the release of the new report. Davis told Ms. magazine that the report matched her own anecdotal observations when watching movies with her daughter and experiences in Hollywood, adding that “If your movie gets labeled a chick flick it’s the kiss of death. What if that has something to do with having seen the exact same gender disparity from minute one, from the very first cartoons and programs you see Ñ couldn’t that possibly affect the way we grow up feeling?”
LEARN MORE about See Jane and Geena Davis in the current issue of Ms. magazine.
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