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Explore our groundbreaking analysis of gender roles across various media platforms in the “Key Findings on Gender Roles 2013” report. This study delves into the representation of gender in family films, prime-time programs, and children’s TV shows, providing a comprehensive look at how gender dynamics are portrayed in popular media.

This extensive report investigates 11,927 speaking characters in family films, prime-time TV, and children’s shows, focusing on gender prevalence, portrayal stereotypes, and occupational roles. Our research highlights persistent gender imbalances and stereotypical portrayals in media, with significant implications for both content creators and audiences.

Key Findings

  • Persistent Gender Imbalance: Females are underrepresented in speaking roles across all media types studied, with only 28.3% in family films, 38.9% in prime-time programs, and 30.8% in children’s shows.
  • Stereotyping and Sexualization: Female characters are often confined to stereotypical roles and are more likely than males to be depicted in sexualized attire or as physically attractive.
  • Occupational Disparities: Males dominate on-screen occupations, particularly in prestigious fields and STEM careers, with females significantly underrepresented.
  • Narrative Influence: The presence of female narrators is low, and stories with gender-balanced casts are rare, indicating a skewed narrative perspective towards male dominance.
  • Variation by Genre and Rating: Gender representation varies significantly by genre and MPAA rating, with more equitable representation in G-rated family films and reality TV.


  • Increase Female Representation: Media creators should strive for gender balance by increasing the number of female characters in all roles, especially in lead and narrative positions.
  • Address Stereotyping: Actively challenge gender stereotypes by diversifying the roles and narratives assigned to female characters, particularly in genres where they are underrepresented.
  • Promote Female Occupations: Encourage the depiction of women in diverse and prestigious occupations, including STEM, to provide positive role models for young viewers.
  • Educational Outreach: Enhance awareness among content creators about the impact of gender representation, encouraging them to make informed decisions that promote gender equality.