In our comprehensive study, “Cinema and Society: The Impact of Gender Representation in French Films,” we delve into how French cinema portrays gender roles and the profound influence these depictions have on societal norms and individual perceptions. This research provides a critical analysis of media’s role in shaping and reflecting cultural identities and gender dynamics in France.

Through detailed focus groups, our study explores the perceptions of different demographic groups in France regarding gender representation in films. The research underscores the significant impact of media on shaping societal views and challenges the authenticity and diversity of these portrayals in shaping public opinion.

Key Findings

  • There is a generation gap in media preferences, such that teens and young adults prefer U.S. films to French films because they see American films as more exciting and realistic. Adults prefer French films as opposed to U.S. films because they think French films are more intelligent, involve better actors, and rely less on action and special effects to obtain viewers’ attention.
  • When asked about whether there are jobs mostly for men or mostly for women, French children and some adults still think in terms of gender stereotypes; women are seen as nurses, beauticians, and homemakers whereas men are seen as construction workers, astronauts, motocross riders, wrestlers, skateboarders, truck drivers, and chefs.
  • Across age groups, participants notice that women play mostly secondary characters in support of male leads. However, adults across focus groups tend to see French films offering more and better roles for women than American cinema. 
  • Young boys and male teens say they prefer violence in their entertainment media while girls and women of all ages say they do not like to see violence, blood, gore, and death in entertainment media.
  • A larger number of participants across age and gender groups prefer media with social messages such as environmentalism, global economies, healthcare, ethnic divisions, poverty, and gender inequality.


  • Enhance Female Representation: We recommend that filmmakers and studios increase the visibility and complexity of female characters in French cinema to reflect more accurately the roles of women in contemporary society.
  • Cultural Sensitivity Training: Encourage the industry to adopt training and development programs that promote sensitivity towards gender and cultural representation.