A few months ago I caught Geena Davis on The View talking about her work educating the entertainment industry on the need for gender balance in children's programming.
When she became a mother, she was shocked by the lack of positive female characters in family entertainment. She decided to put together the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media - they do the research needed to prove to the Execs that the majority of family programming is gender biased.
Here's what they found:
Males outnumber females 3 to 1 in family films. In contrast, females comprise just over 50% of the population in the United States. Even more staggering is the fact that this ratio, as seen in family films, is the same as it was in 1946.
Females are almost four times as likely as males to be shown in sexy attire. Further, females are nearly twice as likely as males to be shown with a diminutive waistline. Generally unrealistic figures are more likely to be seen on females than males.
Females are also underrepresented behind the camera. Across 1,565 content creators, only 7% of directors, 13% of writers, and 20% of producers are female. This translates to 4.8 males working behind-the-scenes to every one female.
From 2006 to 2009, not one female character was depicted in G-rated family films in the field of medical science, as a business leader, in law, or politics. In these films, 80.5% of all working characters are male and 19.5% are female, which is a contrast to real world statistics, where women comprise 50% of the workforce.
And we wonder why little girls don't dream of being scientists or CEOs - no, they want to be princesses. The images we see as children are so important. "If she can see it she can be it".