Beck Selberg

Date of Award


First Advisor

Francisca Oyogoa

Second Advisor

Jane Wanninger

Third Advisor

Anne O'Dwyer


Recent years have witnessed an increased interest in and movement against the gender inequality of cinema as both an art form and industry. While it is widely spoken about, there is a gap in the literature regarding data as to the direct implications of cinema’s male-centered nature. This thesis addresses the issue in three parts: First, a review of existing theory and trends, second, a comprehensive analysis of character descriptions from five popular films, and third, an experimental survey designed to measure audience’s biases in terms of gender and characters in a screenplay. The findings suggest that audience’s perceptions of gender do not play a significant role in a character’s likeability, challenging the belief that film’s sexist practices are a result of viewer preference rather than a misogynistic standard of cinema.

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