November 23rd, 2011
10:16 AM ET
Confirmed by science: Women are underrepresented in movies. According to the Los Angeles Times, a USC study finds that almost 70 percent of speaking roles belong to men.
USC's Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism examined the top 100 grossing movies of 2009, specifically categorizing the 4,342 speaking roles by gender. Women, meanwhile, buy more than 50 percent of the movie tickets.
This ratio also isn’t evening out over time; it’s staying the same.
"We see remarkably stable trends," said USC Annenberg associate professor Stacy L. Smith of the gender inequality apparent in Hollywood. "This reveals an industry formula for gender that may be outside of people's conscious awareness."
The study also found that, unsurprisingly, when women make or write movies, they feature significantly more female characters.
Smith says this is the outcome of male writers and directors telling the stories they know. "If the numbers behind the scenes move,” Smith predicts, “we're likely to see numbers on-screen move."
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