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Women Talking to Women: What the Bechdel Test Tells Us about the State of Women in US Culture Kara Henry

FDENG 201 Brigham Young University-Idaho 4 March 2011


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Abstract In this paper, the author gives a brief summary of recent research concerning the speaking roles of female characters in popular movies. She tests 150 movies to see if they pass the Bechdel test, which requires the movie to have two female characters who talk to each other about something other than a male character. She explores the implications of her findings regarding the current state of gender roles, the effects the portrayals of women in the movies may have on women’s self-concept and the way they are sexualized in US culture. She then considers arguments that the Bechdel test is an arbitrary standard, that movie characters should not be role models and that the movie industry is filling a demand in the market, and refutes many of these claims. She then concludes that the Bechdel test can help guide us in finding more equality for women and in helping women achieve higher self-esteem and healthier relationships.


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Introduction and Presentation of Issue Movies are big business, with the movie industry raking in $10.6 billion in ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada in 2010 (Motion Picture Association of America, Inc., 2011). Since the birth of movies over 100 years ago, they had a hand in shaping our cultural identity; Hollywood is practically a synonym for the United States. Films have become not only a way to measure the culture, but they also have a powerful influence on cultural attitudes and mores. During the past few centuries, women have begun to fight equality, and cultural measures like film can show not only how far they have come, but also shed light on the current cultural climate. For example, researchers point out that men often perform most of the action in movies; women are often not given their own separate and distinct identities, and are rarely given meaningful relationships with other women that don’t center on the men in their lives, a measure of the continued inequality of men and women (Smith and Choueiti, 2010),. This could potentially affect the way women form their identities and self-esteem. Background Smith and Choueiti (2010), researchers at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, a leader in media gender communications in, recently found that there are approximately 2.5 male speaking roles for every 1 female in movies rated G, PG and PG-13 (p. 1). This ratio has held steady for twenty years with no statistically significant difference in samples from 1990 to 2009 (Smith & Choueiti, 2010, p. 5). Over the course of twenty years, movies still do not represent the actual population split of 50.6% women to 49.4% men in the U.S. (infoplease.com, 2009).


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In 1985, Allison Bechdel wrote a comic for her Dykes to Watch Out For strip in which the characters discuss “The Rule,” which is that they will only see a movie if it meets three requirements. First it has to have “at least two women in it . . . who, two, talk to each other about, three, something besides a man” (Bechdel, 1986, p. 22). The idea, now known as the Bechdel test, caught on. The Bechdel test does not make any value judgments on a movie; yet, it can speak to the relationship between the characters and the nature of the female roles on screen. Lines of Argument Thus far, no systematic research has discovered how many movies pass the Bechdel test, and the Bechdel test itself is open to many interpretations. Therefore, exact parameters of the test had to be established. First, the movie was required to have two female characters, named or unnamed. Secondly, these characters needed to speak to each other, allowed to be as little as one line from one character to another. Lastly, this line had to be free from any reference to a man or the relationship with that man. The limits of this measure allowed for the maximum number of movies to pass the test. This assesses roughly how active women are in movies. More restrictive parameters—for example, requiring named characters and an exchange of three lines—would reveal movies that most accurately show women as independent agents. By allowing the most generous interpretation possible, these parameters reveal the extent of this problem. The Bechdel test sets a very low bar, and most movies should be able to pass it. This test was applied to three groups of movies (according to boxofficemojo.com as of February 2011): 1. The 50 top grossing films of all time (not adjusted for inflation) 2. The 50 top grossing films of 2009 3. The 50 top grossing animated films of all time (not adjusted for inflation).


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Out of the top 50 grossing films of all time, 48% of films don’t pass the Bechdel test, and 90% of the films feature a male protagonist. All films with a female protagonist pass the test. Of the top 50 grossing films of 2009, 50% of the films don’t pass the Bechdel test and 72% feature a male protagonist. Out of the 28% that have a female protagonist, 22% of those films don’t pass the Bechdel test. Finally, examining the top 50 animated films of all time, 59.5% don’t pass the Bechdel test and 86% have a male protagonist. Of the films that feature a female lead, 28.5% don’t pass the Bechdel test. For a table of findings, see Table 1 and Table 2. For a complete list of movies, their MPAA rating and their status as determined by these parameters, see Appendix A.

Table 1 Bechdel Test Failure/Male Protagonists 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

Don't Pass

Male Protagonist

Top Grossing Top Grossing Films of All Time Films of 2009

Top Grossing Average Across Animated Films All Categories of All Time


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Table 2 Female Proagonists and the Bechdel Test 30% 25% 20% 15% 10%

Female Protagonist/Don't Pass

5%

Female Protagonists/Pass

0% Top Grossing Top Grossing Top Grossing Average Films of All Films of 2009 Animated Across All Time Films of All Categories Time

These findings indicate that movies don’t pass 52.5% of the time across three groups of popular movies. Movies overwhelmingly have male protagonists over female protagonists, with an average of 84% male protagonists. One would expect that movies with a female lead would be more likely to pass the test. While this is accurate, 30.7% of movies with female leads do not pass the Bechdel test, which is a significant percentage; in these cases, even with a female lead, women’s relationships are often shown as unimportant—women either never talk to each other or women are only shown talking about men. Popular media both affects and reflects the larger culture, influencing our behavior and how we see ourselves and showing the current state of the culture. Because female characters in movies serve as role models, most movies should pass the Bechdel test and show women as active, complex people. Out of the 150 movies examined, only one failed the reverse Bechdel test (at least two men who talk to each other about something other than a woman—the animated movie Coraline), putting the reverse failure rate at 0.6%, yet only 47.5% of movies pass the


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regular Bechdel test. This clearly displays the discrepancy between the treatment of women and the treatment of men by filmmakers. This mirrors the current cultural climate, where men generally hold more power than women. For example, women sit in 16.6% of the seats in the Senate and Congress, and across state legislatures, women hold 23.3% of the seats (Manning, Shogan & Smelcer, 2011, p. 3). While there may be many causes for this discrepancy, the end result is that women do not have as much political power as men. One in six women is raped in her lifetime while one in thirtythree men is raped, which signals a lack of social power and status as rape is a crime of power and control (RAINN, 2010). Women are also permitted much less economic power, as shown by the way society allows a wage gap of $0.80 to $1.00 (reported in 2009) for the exact same jobs; women make 77% of what men make overall (US Bureau of Labor, 2010, p. 8). Again, this has many causes, but the end result is a lack of economic power. Women are much more at risk for poverty, given the way they are allowed to bear most of the risk of childbearing, with single mothers, whether unwed or divorced, much more likely to be in poverty than single fathers; 28.7% for single mothers compared to 13.8% for single fathers (US Census Bureau, 2009 p. 1). All these problems could be corrected if society placed more value on treating women with respect and as equals. The way filmmakers show women in the movies—not speaking as much as men, not making as many important decisions, not speaking as much between themselves and so on—echoes the current values we hold as a culture. A movie can pass the Bechdel test and produce harmful role models. It can fail and include good messages; however, the problem isn’t in the failure of a particular movie. It is in the high rate of general failure which indicates a repetition of a particular message. When the audience sees over and over on the screen that the women are mostly talking to or about the men,


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they often internalize the message that women’s principal identity is in what they are in relation to men, a message that men do not get in respect to women. Men are shown interacting with both men and women in a variety of situations about a variety of topics. Cultivation theory, developed by Gerbner, Gross, Morgan and Signorielli (1994), states that “continued exposure” to messages from entertainment sources like movies is “likely to reiterate, confirm, and nourish—that is, cultivate—its own values and perspectives” (p. 19). Because concerns over the early sexualization of girls, objectification of women, and the pervasive problem of women’s low self-esteem have grown in recent years, the discrepancy between what is healthy and what is being portrayed by the media needs to be addressed (Zurbriggen et al., 2010). In a report developed by the American Psychological Association, Zurbriggen et al. (2010) define sexualization as occurring when someone’s worth comes exclusively from their sexuality or sexual behavior, when that person feels obligated to measure up to an unrealistic beauty standard that defines beauty as sexy, or when he or she is objectified, or seen as an object for sexual utilization, instead of a whole person with autonomy and decisionmaking ability; a person may also internalize these attitudes and self-sexualize to gain social acceptance or “power” within the culture (pp. 6-7). Female characters are far more likely than male characters to be sexualized in appearance, evidenced by wearing “sexy, tight, or alluring attire,” exposing skin, and fitting an unrealistic body image (Smith & Choueiti, 2010, pp. 2, 8). In a study cited in the APA report done by Ward, Merriwether, and Caruthers (2006), consistent with cultivation theory, women who consumed more sexualized media content, who said that media portrayals were realistic and related strongly to popular TV characters were also more willing to agree with sexually objectifying ideas of women (cited in Zurbriggen, et al., 2010, p. 25). When a movie fails the Bechdel test, sexualizes women, and has fewer female speaking


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roles, these aspects begin to build on top of each other, and women start to cultivate the message that their value comes primarily from certain functions in society, such as being sexual objects. By improving these messages, we can create an environment where women feel valued, empowered and autonomous. These types of movies would most likely easily pass the Bechdel test. Relationships define our humanity, but unless people freely chose them with autonomy and self-awareness, they may include unhealthy behaviors that could lead to disappointment and dysfunction. Kuhn (1960), a pioneering social psychologist, developed the foundational theory of self-concept which put forth the idea that people shape their idea of self from five distinct areas, including 1) social groups and classifications (marital status, gender, education level); 2) ideological beliefs (religious or moral proclamations); 3) interests; 4) ambitions; and 5) selfevaluations (appearance, aspects of personality, material possessions) (pp. 40-41). A person’s self-esteem is contingent on how they feel about the aspects of their self-concept, in other words, whether or not they feel they measure up in these areas. When movies overly reduce women to their relationships with men, and hinge a women’s self-worth on her ability to use her sexuality to gain counterfeit power, they not only narrow the aspects that make up her self-concept, but make what she believes about herself contingent on other people’s approval. No matter how important the roles of “girlfriend,” “wife” or “mother” and so on, a woman’s self-concept cannot be limited to them or she will not be able to develop the healthy self-esteem needed for a selfactualized life, including healthy, balanced relationships with men. Furthermore, Zurbriggen et al. (2010) point out that if women are not seen as “complicated people with many interests, talents, and identities” men may have problems relating to them on any other level other than sexually; sexualization also stops the development of healthy sexuality (p. 28). When movies fail


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to pass the Bechdel test, it is often an indication that women have been reduced to their social or sexual roles, and this can cultivate the message that a woman is defined overwhelmingly by her relationships and by what other people think of her. The movies can have a powerful, although sometimes subtle influence on our behavior and consciousness. As Gitlin (1978), the American sociologist, political writer, novelist and cultural analyst, explains, the media has influence because it defines “normal and abnormal social . . . activity” and it has the power to “contain, channel, and exclude others” (p. 205). The Bechdel test shows how society is currently defining its “normal.” It measures how that power is currently being used to define the role of women in society and how that definition is internalized by women in many ways. Opposing View: Concessions and Refutation Critics may argue that movies are only meant to be entertainment. Parents should be in charge of protecting their children, and adults should be able to discern harmful messages. However, research shows we generally think we are able to guard ourselves against harmful messages, but we believe others are likely to be influenced (Hoffner et al., 2001). For example, adults will say that they are fine to watch a certain program, but that young adults should be protected and so on down the line (Hoffner et al., 2001). This illustrates the way we seem to be blind to the measures by which we are influenced, and therefore we are unlikely to filter harmful messages. Additionally, while we may be able to recognize some messages as harmful, it becomes harder to block repeated messages (Gerbner et al., 1994). Each person should use critical thinking skills to filter harmful messages we receive to shape our own moral code, but messages from media should be ones that benefit society positively and seek to portray any


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necessary negative events within a context that allows the viewer to recognize the behavior as undesirable, paving the way for the strengthening of gender equality. Some may find the Bechdel test arbitrary. They may question why it is important for women to talk to each other, or why it matters if the subject of their conversation is men. It seems vague and meaningless. While it is somewhat arbitrary and open to a variety of interpretations, it is such a low bar that excluding any compelling reasons (these should be relatively rare) for a movie not to pass, it should do so. Changing the gender of one of the characters would enable most movies to pass without difficulty; most movies would not change significantly with one of the character’s genders swapped. Nearly 100% of movies pass the reverse test, and there is little excuse for a lack of gender parity. Another argument that may be made against the Bechdel test is that a woman’s activities can be centered around a man, and she can be complex at the same time. While this is true, and many movies that don’t pass the Bechdel test have wonderful female characters, they rarely drive the action forward by making important decisions. In movie after movie, women are used as plot devices. In a trope called “women in refrigerators,” named after a famous dead love interest who was killed and stuffed into a refrigerator, a female character (often a very interesting one) is killed off to give a male character anger and motivation. This is another example of how even complex women are there to serve the plot, yet do not drive the plot forward by acting, only by being acted upon. Again, the Bechdel test points to how common this phenomenon is. One might also believe that women are just naturally more relationship-orientated than men and that explains the Bechdel test results. Without getting into the gender essentialism this argument implies, there are two refutations to this argument. First is that women are not shown having multifaceted relationships with women that include all sort of topics outside of men, such


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as discussing religions, philosophical ideas, political interests, world events, hobbies, charitable work, problem solving and other rich multitude of topics that women discuss amongst themselves when alone; if being more relationship-oriented was the explanation, it would not impede the depiction of relationships between women. Furthermore, much of society assumes that women are mostly responsible for maintaining relationships. Most studies on relationships have shown that both men and women engage in similar types and amounts of relational maintenance behaviors, such as positivity, assurances, social networks and openness, although there have been some inconsistent results (cited by Hendrick & Hendrick, 2000, p. 292). Movies are promoting stereotypes about relationship behaviors and neglecting to look at the truth behind the behaviors; when women are only shown talking to men and shown being responsible and concerned about these relational maintenance behaviors—such as discussing relationships and maintaining social networks by talking to and about men—men do not get the recognition they deserve and women may feel overly responsible for the state of their relationships. The causal relationship is difficult to determine—for example, women may be being socially conditioned to be more concerned about relationships—moreover, relationships work best when both parties are invested in their success (Weigel & Ballard-Reisch, 1999, p. 268). One last argument that people may make against giving the Bechdel test credence is that movie studios are simply supplying a demand in the market. If audiences disliked the content or felt it was unfair, they could vote with their dollars attend movies with more gender-balanced content. The refutation of this argument is complex. Although if audiences did start to demand gender parity, movies studios would probably respond, there is a communication barrier,


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entrenched prejudices and preexisting and unique conditions in the movie industry that prevent making this a simple matter of choosing different movies. First, some in society have already been exposed to so many movies that repeat sexist attitudes that they now fail to find them unfair and therefore will not demand a different approach. Smith and Choueiti (2010) explain that “the heavy exposure to these skewed patterns may become so normal to audiences that they do not see the need for gender parity in the media or industry change” (p. 6). Secondly, women work in low numbers in key decision making positions in the movie industry, a fact that may influence how many movies are given the chance to be written and made from a feminine perspective (Horowitz, 2010). If the movie industry was more balanced in its employment and still felt that gender ratios on screen needed to be skewed to meet demand, this argument would be more convincing. Thirdly, movie studios are not producing many big-budget, heavily-marketed movies with women in the leads that pass the Bechdel test multiple times in the movie. This leads to a chicken and the egg situation; studios may not produce these types of movies because they don’t see a demand or audiences may not demand them because studios are not producing them. The top 50 grossing films of all time have 90% male protagonists and 48% did not pass the test— nearly all of them had huge budgets for production and marketing, which makes them more likely to land in the top grossing spots. Because so few female centered movies are produced, there is limited choice in the marketplace, making it difficult to “vote with your dollars,” furthering the problem of gender disparity. Movies with female-centric content are consider “niche” films, while more masculine films are considered “gender-neutral.” When movies with women in the lead fail, gender is often


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blamed. In fact, Warner Brothers’ president of production, Jeff Robinov, said in 2007 after two movies with women leads flopped, "We are no longer doing movies with women in the lead" (Finke, 2007). He later maintained that he was joking, but WB only released six medium- to large-budget films with women in the lead roles in the next three and a half years, some of which might have already been in production (http://boxofficemojo.com). Rather than blame the script, the directors, poor timing, advertising or other factor, studios, exemplified by Jeff Robinov and Warner Brothers, seem to prefer to blame the female characters in the movies; yet, when a man is in the lead, his gender is rarely considered a factor. Voting with dollars becomes nearly impossible, because Hollywood maintains entrenched ideas about gender and the success of movies. Because of these factors (low budgets, bad marketing, etc.), blockbuster successes with female-centric content are rare and not predicted; ones that do, like Titanic and The Twilight Saga are usually considered unrepeatable flukes (Bell, 2009). Studios are reluctant to take chances on films that aren’t standard “chick flick” fare; both Twilight and Titanic are unique in their mix of over-the-top romance and action sequences. The first script for the first Twilight film was altered so much to potentially appeal to male audiences that the author of the book, Stephenie Meyer, exclaimed, “They could have put that [earlier] movie out, called it something else, and no one would have known it was Twilight!" (Sperling, 2008). After three years of debate, juggernaut Paramount ultimately decided Twilight wasn’t worth the risk and sold the rights to fledgling Summit Entertainment (Sperling, 2008). A movie adaption true to the book was produced. So far, the three film versions (a fourth and fifth are planned) have grossed over $1.7 billion worldwide (http://boxofficemojo.com). All three pass the Bechdel test.


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If there is a disconnect between what the movie studios believe the audiences want and what the audiences want, then the studios can’t possibly be catering to movie-goers’ demands. The success of the top 50 grossing movies of all time is related to a number of causes, but the gender of the main characters probably isn’t all that large of a factor. After all, in 2009, women bought 55% of all the movie tickets sold and attended the movies slightly more often than men (MPPA, 2009, pp. 8-9). Movies which prominently feature women do have smaller budgets, but they make profits in proportion to their budgets; therefore, leading female characters are not as risky as Hollywood deems them and considering women a “niche” market is a mistake which unnecessarily furthers gender inequality (Lauzen, 2008, p. 2). Furthermore, studios have at least a partial ethical responsibility of the content of their movies regardless of audience demand. If they are damaging society by the content they produce, they should be held accountable for that content. While censorship and curbing artistic expression should never be the goal, troubling trends like the number of movies that fail the Bechdel test compared to the near 100% passing rate of the reverse test have been shown to have overall harmful effects and should be addressed (Zurbriggen, et al., 2010). Conclusion Trends in the Bechdel test give an overall picture of the state of the portrayal of women onscreen. Are they generally active participants, or are they props to help the male-centric plot along? The closer that the Bechdel test numbers and the reverse Bechdel test numbers get, the more equally men and women are being treated. In the examination of gender and movies, a gauge of the current climate of gender ideals is revealed, proving the culture still has ways it can improve. Women have incredible potential that is being untapped because it is blocked by unhealthy self-esteem and problems of sexualization; improved trends of positive role models in


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the movies could help women developed a sense of fulfillment and healthy self-esteem, which in turn, would improve their relationships with men. Women, and all of society, deserve better.


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Appendix A

With this small of a sample size (for example, there were only 15 movies in the R rated sample group), the breakdown of these numbers should not be considered significant or representative of what larger sample groups might reveal. However, it does not appear that an R rating increases the pass rate, or that movies vary greatly to any degree by rating in their failure or passing rates when divided by MPAA rating.


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Top 50 Animated Movies

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Top 50 Movies of All Time

Top 50 Movies of 2009

of All Time

Title by Box Office Earnings

MPAA Rating

Bechdel Pass

Title by Box Office Earnings

MPAA Rating

Bechdel Pass

Title by Box Office Earnings

MPAA Rating

Bechdel Pass

Shrek 2

PG

Yes

Avatar

PG-13

No

Avatar

PG-13

No

Toy Story 3

G

Yes

Titanic

PG-13

Yes

Transformers

PG-13

Yes

Finding Nemo

G

Yes

The Dark Knight

PG-13

No

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

PG-13

Yes

The Lion King

G

No

Star Wars

PG

No

Twilight Saga: New Moon

PG-13

Yes

Shrek the Third

PG

No

Shrek 2

PG

Yes

Up

PG

No

Up

PG

No

E.T.

PG

Yes

The Hangover

R

No

Shrek

PG

No

Star Wars: Episode 1

PG

Yes

Star Trek

PG-13

Yes

The Incredibles

PG

Yes

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

PG-13

No

The Blind Side

PG-13

Yes

Monsters, Inc

G

No

Toy Story 3

G

Yes

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Sqeakuel

PG

No

Despicable Me

PG

Yes

Spider Man

PG-13

No

Sherlock Holmes

PG-13

No

Toy Story 2

G

No

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

PG-13

Yes

Monsters Vs. Aliens

PG

No

Cars

G

Yes

Star Wars: Episode 3

PG-13

No

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

PG

No

Shrek Forever After

PG

No

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

PG-13

No

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

PG-13

Yes

WALL-E

G

Yes

Spider-Man 2

PG-13

No

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

PG

Not found

How to Train Your Dragon

PG

Yes

The Passion of the Christ

R

No

2012

PG-13

Yes

Aladdin

G

No

Jurassic Park

PG-13

Yes

The Proposal

PG-13

No

Kung Fu Panda

PG

No

The Lord of the Rings: The Two

PG-13

No

Fast and Furious

PG-13

No


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19 Towers

Ratatouille

G

No

Finding Nemo

G

Yes

GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra

PG-13

No

Monsters Vs. Aliens

PG

No

Spider-Man 3

PG-13

No

Paul Blart: Mall Cop

PG

Yes

Happy Feet

PG

Yes

Alice in Wonderland

PG

Yes

Taken

PG-13

Yes

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

PG

No

Forrest Gump

PG-13

No

A Christmas Carol

PG

No

Ice Age: Meltdown

PG

No

The Lion King

G

No

Angels and Demons

PG-13

No

Madagascar

PG

No

Shrek the Third

PG

No

Terminator Salvation

R

No

Toy Story

G

No

Transformers

PG-13

Yes

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

PG

No

The Simpson’s Movie

PG-13

Yes

Iron Man

PG-13

No

Inglorious bastards

R

No

The Polar Express

G

No

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

PG

Yes

G-Force

PG

Yes

Madagascar 2

PG

No

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

PG-13

No

District 9

R

No

Ice Age

PG

No

Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

PG-13

No

It’s Complicated

R

Yes

Beauty and the Beast

G

No

Iron Man 2

PG-13

Yes

Couples Retreat

PG-13

Not found

Tarzan

G

No

Star Wars: Episode 2

PG

Yes

Paranormal Activity

R

Yes

A Bug’s Life

G

Yes

Pirates of the Carribean: At World’s End

PG-13

Yes

Watchmen

R

Yes

Shark Tale

PG

No

Return of the Jedi

PG

No

The Princess and the Frog

G

Yes

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

PG

No

Independence Day

PG-13

Yes

Public Enemies

R

No

Over the Hedge

PG

No

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

PG-13

No

Julie & Julia

PG-13

Yes

Dr. Suess’s Horton Hears a Who

G

No

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

PG-13

Yes

He’s Just Not that into You

PG-13

No


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Lilo and Stitch

PG

Yes

Twilight Saga: Eclispe

PG-13

Yes

Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail

PG-13

Yes

Pocahontas

G

Yes

Twilight Saga: New Moon

PG-13

Yes

The Ugly Truth

R

No

A Christmas Carol

PG

No

The Sixth Sense

PG-13

Yes

Up in the Air

R

Yes

Dinosaur

PG

Not found

Up

PG

No

Knowing

PG-13

Yes

Chicken Little

G

Not found

Inception

PG-13

Yes

Hannah Montana the Movie

G

Yes

Megamind

PG

No

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoneix

PG-13

Yes

Where the Wild Things Are

PG

No

Robots

PG

No

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

PG

Yes

Zombieland

R

Yes

Bee Movie

PG

The Empire Strikes Back

PG

No

Coraline

PG

Yes

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

PG

No

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

PG-13

Yes

Law Abiding Citizen

R

No

Mulan

G

Yes

Home Alone

PG

No

Hotel for Dogs

PG

Yes

Bolt

PG

Yes

The Matrix Reloaded

R

Yes

Michael Jackson’s This Is It

PG

No

The Little Mermaid

G

Yes

Meet the Fockers

PG-13

Yes

I Love You, Man

R

No

Chicken Run

G

Yes

The Hangover

R

No

Obsessed

PG-13

Yes

The Princess and the Frog

G

Yes

Shrek

PG

No

Race to Witch Mountain

PG

Not found

The Prince of Egypt

PG

Yes

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

PG

Yes

The Final Destination

R

Not found


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Sperling, N. (2008, July 10). Twilight: Inside the first Stephenie Meyer movie. Entertainment Weekly (Time Inc). Retrieved March 15, 2010 from http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20211840,00.html US Census Bureau. (2010, September). People and families in poverty by selected characteristics: 2008 and 2009. p. 1. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/data/incpovhlth/2009/table4.pdf US Department of Labor, US Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2010, June). Highlights of women’s earnings in 2009. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpswom2009.pdf Weigel, D.J., & Ballard-Reisch, D. (1999, July). How couples maintain marriages: a closer look at self and spouse influences upon the use of maintenance behaviors in marriages. National Council on Family Relations. Family Relations. 48 (3), pp. 263-269. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/585635 Wojcieszak, M. (2008, May). Mainstream critique, critical mainstream and the new media: Reconciliation of mainstream and critical approaches to media effects studies? International Journal of Communication Retrieved from http://ijoc.org/ojs/index.php/ijoc/article/view/256/152 Zurbriggen, E.L., Collins, R.L., Lamb, S., Roberts, T.-A., Tolman, D.L., Ward, L.M., & Blake, J. (2010). Report of the APA Task Force on the sexualization of girls. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/girls/report-full.pdf

Women Talking to Women: The Bechdel Test  

Research paper examing 150 movies to see if they pass the Bechdel test, which requires the movie to have two female characters who talk to e...

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