Study: Women Speak Less, Are Naked More than Men in Movies
It's not exactly news that Hollywood doesn't offer up equal treatment of men and women. For every hulking male that crashes through a plate glass window to save the day, there's at least one scantily-clad woman whose primary function is to seduce/be seduced/smile and look pretty.
But now, for the skeptics in the room who would argue that equal treatment is in the eye of the beholder, we have some numbers -- researchers at USC's Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism recently found that actresses in movies actually do speak less and wear less than their male counterparts.
According to the LA Times, out of 4,342 speaking characters that appeared onscreen in 2009's top-grossing movies, 32.8% were female and 67.2% were male. The same numbers were nearly identical numbers in 2008.
"We see remarkably stable trends," USC Annenberg associate professor Stacy L. Smith told the Times. "This reveals an industry formula for gender that may be outside of people's conscious awareness."
Women aren't faring much better when it comes to the making of movies, either. Just 3.6% of directors for the same 2009 films were women, and females accounted for only 13.5% of writers. Adhering to the old "write what you know" dictum, industry experts (and some bloggers) suspect that when there's a greater female presence behind the scenes, more women will pop up in front of the camera as well -- possibly with a greater amount of clothing on and more to say.