You know, I could probably count on my hands how many times I’ve seen a naked male in films – it’s almost unnatural that they’re clothed and their female counterparts aren’t. How often are you naked while your partner is clothed? This study shows – no surprise – that women in films from 2008 were pretty, skinny, partially clothed or naked. What is surprising is that this includes TEENAGERS.
Perhaps what was most disconcerting was the physical emphasis placed on 13- to 20-year old females. Our data show that teenaged females are far more likely than teenaged males to be depicted in revealing apparel (39.8 percent of teen females compared to 6.7 percent of teen males), partially naked (30.1 percent to 10.3 percent), physically attractive (29.2 percent to 11.1 percent), and with a small waist (35.1 percent to 13.6 percent). Again, chest size and presence of an ideal figure did not vary meaningfully with gender.
Overall, the findings suggest that males and females are differentially valued in motion pictures. Despite the fact that it is 2011, females are still far less important or esteemed than are males, particularly behind-the-camera. When they are shown on screen, females are prized for provocative (or noticeably absent) attire, attributes of their physique, and prettiness. This is also true of teenaged females. The hypersexualized focus on teens is disquieting, given that exposure to objectifying media portrayals may contribute to negative effects in some young female viewers. Such depictions may also affect young male consumers, by teaching and/or reinforcing that girls/women are to be valued for how they look rather than who they are.