Thinking we are closing the gender gap in the workplace, I assumed the same goes for TV and movies. Unfortunately, male characters still dominate movies and TV for kids. And the impact of a bias that goes undetected is shocking.
In a WSJ.com article today, Geena Davis, founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, talks with journalist Rebecca Blumenstein about how the number of female characters featured on TV and in movies impacts kids.
According to the WSJ.com article, Geena Davis reports:
The more hours of television a girl watches, the fewer options she believes she has in life. And the more hours a boy watches, the more sexist his views become.
There is hope. If girls see more positive images in the media, they are empowered. As Davis says in WSJ.com:
If girls can see characters doing unstereotyped kinds of occupations and activities, they're much more likely as an adult to pursue unusual and outside-the-box occupations.
Next time your kids watch TV, sit down with them and together do some counting. Do the male characters outnumber females? You might be surprised with what you find out. And, if you want, send me an email or just add your findings to my comment section.
Photo: Joris de Vrede
Chris Olson, writer and illustrator
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