By Rich Daly
Monday, October 18, 2010
"Watch what you watch." That's the Girl Scouts' new public service announcement. It's part of a project to improve girls' social and emotional well-being by teaming up with studios and advertisers to promote healthier media.
WASHINGTON (WOMENSENEWS)--The days of inaccurate, stereotypical or even missing portrayals of women and girl characters on television and in movies are long over.
Or so actress Geena Davis was told when she approached studio and television executives six years ago about the problem she was seeing in the shows and films she was watching with her then-2-year-old daughter.
"That issue has been taken care of," Davis told a gathering here earlier this month, hosted by the Girl Scouts of the USA. The event focused on improving media treatment of girls.
To persuade them otherwise, Davis launched the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, based in Los Angeles, to fund research of persistent anti-women and anti-girl media images.
"They were shocked," said Davis.
Among the findings she showed the executives: Males were nearly three-quarters of all characters in the 400 top-grossing films in a recent 16-year period, and animated movies are more likely to portray both women and girls in sexually-revealing attire than live action films.
Other researchers have found that the more television a girl watches the less likely she is to believe that she will be successful. At the same time, the more hours of television a boy watches, the more likely he is to hold sexist views of girls.
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