Women Studies/A Current Study: “Gender Bias Without Borders”

A Current Study: “Gender Bias Without Borders”


In 2014 there was a study conducted by Dr. Stacy L Smith and her research team at the USC Annenberg School for communication and journalism. This study was backed by the UN and focused on the current discrimination that exists within the film industry on a global scale. This study included the “ten most profitable territories internationally” (Smith). It’s also very notable that the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media has conducted over twelve studies about gender occurrence in entertainment. These studies focus on gender inequality and the “rampant stereotyping in film and television” (Smith).

The 2014 study revealed some disconcerting statistics on how women are portrayed in films across the globe. One statistic revealed, “A total of 5,799 speaking or named characters on screen were evaluated, with 30.9% female and 69.1% male” (Smith). They also discovered that out of these characters, the women protagonists made up only 23.3% of the films in this study (Smith). In the book, “Through the Labyrinth: The Truth About How Women Become Leaders,” by Alice H. Eagly and Linda L Carli, there is concrete evidence presented about correlational studies about wages and promotions. These studies answer the question in the book, “Is Discrimination Still a Problem?” In the film industry, a leadership position would include a protagonist role or a speaking character. The statistics found in the 2014 begs the question about why women are not being allowed to be leaders in the film industry.

Women represent about half of the population. This fact is talked about in many books, articles, and lectures that are done about the discrimination against women. It is discussed because although women represent about half of the population, they are hardly represented in this way in the work force. This is especially true, according to the book “Through the Labyrinth: The Truth About How Women Become Leaders,” about women in positions of authority and leadership. Women are extremely unrepresented in these higher executive positions. This is no less true in the media industry. In the study done by Dr. Smith, the amount of women found in the world’s population is compared against the number of women that actually appear in films, especially in prominent roles.