Study: Women Have Fewer Movie Roles

Don’t let the success of Bridesmaids fool you. A study released Monday by the University of Southern California shows that in the top 100 highest-grossing movies of 2009, only 32.8 percent of speaking parts went to women—and researchers said even more troubling is the manner in which women are depicted. According to the study, women are still far more likely than men to wear sexy clothes, to expose skin, and to be described by another character as attractive. And revealing clothing was just as prevalent among 13- to 20-year-old females as women 21 to 29. It doesn’t stop onscreen, with female directors making up just 3.6 percent and female writers making up 13.5 percent of the top grossing films. The sex of the director often made a difference: with a female director, women accounted for 47.7 percent of the lead roles, as opposed to just a third with male directors.