I recently encountered a video (see below), which contained some rather startling facts about TV and movies for kids age 11 and under.
- For every one female, there are four males.
- The males get the action parts, while the females stay home.
- Females make up only 17% of crowd scenes. Hmmm. That’s funny because, last I checked, females make up half of the world’s population.
After watching this, I couldn’t help but do my own test of some shows my child watches. While I didn’t get quite the disparities that this study reports, there is a certain a trend to note.
- 6 males
- 2 females
- The male trio does the vast majority of adventures.
- The good news: At least the 2 females are a scientist and engineer.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
- 12 males
- 9 females
- So it’s better, but still not equal.
- All adventures involve Daniel (obviously), with co-adventures equally divided between his male and female friends.
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
- 11 males
- 3 females
- Disney? In the market of gender disparity? Go figure!
Ni Hao, Kai-Lan
- 14 males
- 4 females
- At least one female is involved in all of the adventures (since she’s the main character), but all but one of her comrades are male.
Am I asking you to boycott such shows? Of course not. Am I asking you to donate to Geena Davis’s cause? Only if you feel the need to.
Mostly I’m just asking that we, as parents, be more aware. If it bothers you, speak up, even if it’s just to your peer group. The more dialogue that arises from the topic, the more the creators of such shows just might listen.
I truly don’t think it’s a conscious effort to rule girls out. But, given these statistics, it looks like it will require a conscious effort to bring them back in.