LOS ANGELES - Female movie directors tend to hire more women for their films, while male directors tend to hire only men, U.S. researchers say.
Stacy L. Smith and Marc Choueit, both of the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism say movies with women in creative production roles may help give young female viewers better role models to follow.
In movies with at least one female director, 44.4 percent of speaking characters were females as well, compared with 31.7 percent in all-male-directed films. A similar gender boost was observed in movies written by women, the researchers say.
In addition, there were more twice as many men in speaking roles in 2008 than women. The researchers also found of the Top 100 grossing movies from 2008, 39.8 percent of teenage female characters were seen in sexy clothing and 30.1 percent were shown with exposed skin in the cleavage, midriff or upper thigh regions. For teenage male characters, 6.7 percent were shown in sexy clothing and 10.3 percent showed skin.
"These findings are troubling given that repeated exposure to thin and sexy characters may contribute to negative effects in some female viewers," Smith says in a statement.
"Females are still being marginalized and sexualized in popular film."