Somebody break out the Bechdel test
Words by Thea Glassman
From the editors of HelloGiggles
Today in sad but unsurprising news, a new USC study revealed that female actresses have considerably fewer lines in films than men do. As in, men speak about SEVENTY percent of the dialogue films, which is a pretty insane majority.
The study used a tool that analysed 1,000 scripts, and it uncovered a lot about gender and race bias in films.
For instance, the findings also showed that there were seven times more male writers than female writers, and almost 12 times more male directors than female directors. On screen, men outnumbered women as well — with 4,900 male characters, and 2,000 female characters.
Not to mention, female characters tended to skew about five years younger than male characters.
It is also worth noting that the tool picked up on major gender stereotypes in film, as well. Per USC’s study:
‘Overall, researchers found that female characters tend to be more positive in valence, meaning they are more positive but this tended to be correlated with using language connecting with family values. Beyond the volume of dialogue attributed to men, male dialogue contained more words related to achievement, death and more swear words than the dialogue scripted for women.’
The tool also noted some pretty awful discrepancies when it came to race, including the fact that Latino and mixed-race characters were given more dialogue about sex and African-American characters were given a higher percentage of curse words.
This is all so disappointing. Here’s hoping the industry will start doing a lot better when it comes to equality on-screen and behind-the-scenes.