Research

The Pass the Bechdel Test campaign is backed up by an immense amount of research undertaken by many independent organisations doing excellent work in this field. Please find just a sample below, and feel free to submit more for inclusion.

  1. Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
  2. The Representation Project
  3. Women's Media Center
  4. Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film

Some stats & papers:

It's a Man's (Celluloid) World: Portrayals of Female Characters in the Top 100 Films of 2015It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World: On-Screen Representations of Female Characters in the Top 100 Films of 2014It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World: On-Screen Representations of Female Characters in the Top 100 Films of 2013, and It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World: On-Screen Representations of Female Characters in the Top 100 Films of 2011 by Martha M. Lauzen, Ph.D.

Inequality in 700 Popular Films:  Examining Portrayals of Character Gender, Race, & LGBT Status from 2007 to 2014 by Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Marc Choueiti, Dr. Katherine Pieper & Traci Gillig, Dr. Carmen Lee, Dylan DeLuca

2014 Hollywood Diversity Report: Making Sense of the Disconnect by Dr Darnell Hunt, Dr Ana-Christina Ramon, and Dr Zachary Price, The Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA

The Status of Women in the U. S. Media 2013 by Diana Mitsu Klos, Women's Media Center

Gender Roles & Occupations: A Look at Character Attributes and Job-Related Aspirations in Film and Television by Stacy L. Smith, PhD, Marc Choueiti, Ashley Prescott, Katherine Pieper, PhD, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, University of Southern California

Occupational Aspirations: What are G-Rated Films Teaching Children about the World of Work? by Stacy L. Smith, PhD, Marc Choueiti, Jessica Stern, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, University of Southern California

Gender Inequality in 500 Popular Films: Examining On-Screen Portrayals and Behind-the-Scenes Employment Patterns in Motion Pictures Released between 2007-2012 by Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Marc Choueiti, Elizabeth Scofield, & Dr. Katherine Pieper, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, University of Southern California

Trends of Sexual and Violent Content by Gender in Top-Grossing U.S. Films, 1950–2006 by Amy Bleakley, Ph.D., M.P.H.email address, Patrick E. Jamieson, Ph.D., Daniel Romer, Ph.D., Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania

Further reading:

Hollywood Sexism Continues: Women Had Just One Third of Speaking Roles in 2015 Movies, Study Shows by Beatrice Verhoeven, The Wrap, February 2016

Researchers have found a major problem with 'The Little Mermaid' and other Disney movies by Jeff Guo, The Washington Post, January 2016

Female-Driven Movies Make Money, So Why Aren't More Being Made? by Thelma Adams, Variety, October 2015

New Report Uncovers Staggering Inequality for Anyone Not Young, White, Straight, and Male in Hollywood by Joanna Robinson, Vanity Fair, August 2015

Hey Hollywood: Where Are the Women by Colleen DeBaise, Huffington Post, February 2015

Why We Need Diversity Incentives for Film and Television by Richard Guay, Indiewire, February 2015

There are officially fewer Hollywood films with a female lead today than in 2002 by Jess Denham, The Independent (UK), February 2015

20 ways to fix Hollywood’s woman problems by Alyssa Rosenberg, The Washington Post, February 2015

Study: Female Protagonists Continue to Disappear From Film by Inkoo Kang, Indiewire, February 2015

The Dollar-And-Cents Case Against Hollywood’s Exclusion of Women by Walt Hickey, FiveThirtyEight, April 2014

Strong Female Characters Still Underrepresented in Hollywood, New Study Shows by Debbie Emery, The Hollywood Reporter, March 2014

Do They Ever Make Movies About Women? A Mathematical Analysis From 1989–2013 by Amanda Dobbins, Vulture, December 2013

Why Pixar Fails the Bechdel Test by Hayley Morgan, I am a heathen. (blog), September 2013

The Objectification of Women – It Goes Much Further Than Sexy Pictures, Crates and Ribbons (blog), June 2013

At the Movies, the Women Are Gone by Linda Holmes, NPR, June 2013

Female Representation in Film Is the Lowest It’s Been in Five Years by Rose Eveleth, Smithsonian Magazine, May 2013

Where have all the women gone in movies? By Rebecca Keegan, Los Angeles Times, May 2013

Normalizing Male Dominance: Gender Representation in 2012 Films by Chloe Beighley and Jeff Smith, Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy, May 2013

Where are the women in film? by Amelia Hill, The Guardian, May 2012

Invisible Women: Where is Half the World's Population? By Susan Macaulay, Amazing Women Rock, October 2011

Why film schools teach screenwriters not to pass the Bechdel test by Jennifer Kesler, June 2008 – see also Alfonso Cuaron Defends Having Female Lead in Gravity by Melissa Silverstein and Kerensa Cadenas, Indiewire, July 2013

Or if you prefer something more visual:

Let's Talk About the F Word: Female Storytellers – videos from the Screen NSW, Screen Australia and Vivid Sydney panel event with Jan Chapman, Cate Shortland, Daina Reid, Troy Lum, Susan Cartsonis & Helen Jacey, May 2013

Infographic: Gender Inequality in Hollywood (It's Worse than You Think) from the New York Film Academy, as reported on Indiewire (see graphic below), November 2013

The Oscars and the Bechdel Test – post and video by Anita Sarkeesian from 15 February 2012 analysing the Oscar contenders from 2011 in relation to the test

Bechdel Test Charts by Daniel Mariani covering films between 1900-2013 and some clarifications from the charts' creator on Reddit, plus some further explanations on his blog, June 2013