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Study Finds Women Underrepresented and Oversexualized in Hollywood Films

A new study entitled “Gender Inequality in Popular Films” was released by researchers at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism and found that women are often underrepresented and oversexualized in Hollywood films, with 33.8 percent of teen girl characters appearing in revealing clothing and 28.2 percent appearing with “exposed skin in the cleavage, midriff or upper thigh” areas. The study also found that only 32.8 percent of actors are women and 67.2 are men. Moreover, only 17 percent of Hollywood films cast an equal number of men and women, despite the fact that women make up half of movie-goers.

Stacy Smith, a professor at USC and a researcher in the study, warned of the harm that these sexualized images can have on young women and girls stating that, “Viewing sexualized images of females in film may contribute to self-objectification in some girls or women, which – in turn – may increase body shame, appearance anxiety and have other negative effect.”

Researchers in the study examined 4,342 speaking characters in the 100 top grossing Hollywood films of 2009.

Huffington Post 11/22/11; PR Newswire 11/21/11