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Bollywood screen-on time for females is a meagre 31.5 %, compared to 68.5 % for male characters: Study

By Rajiv Shah
A new study of gender bias in India’s Bollywood movies suggests that whether it is plots, posters or trailers, a male is mentioned around 30 times in a plot while a female is mentioned only around 15 times, adding, “There is a consistency of this ratio from 1970 to 2017(for almost 50 years).”
Second study on the subject (click HERE for a previous study by Oxfam India) this year, it is based on data extracted from 4,000 movies with cast, soundtracks and plot text since 1970, and data from 880 movie trailers since 2008, is titled “Analyzing Gender Stereotyping in Bollywood Movies”, and has been carried out by a group of researchers from IBM Research-India, IIIT-Delhi, and DTU-Delhi.
Referring to how male cast and female cast have been addressed, the study says, “Verbs like kills, shoots occur with males while verbs like marries, loves are associated with females”. Further, “Males are often represented as rich and wealthy while females are represented as beautiful and attractive.”
The study says, “On aggregating the relations by gender, we find that males are generally introduced with a profession like as a famous singer, an honest police officer, a successful scientist and so on, while females are either introduced using physical appearance like beautiful, simple looking or in relation to another (male) character (daughter, sister of).”
“The results show that females are always associated with a successful male and are not portrayed as independent while males are portrayed to be successful”, it adds.
As for the “occupation as a stereotype”, the study says, an analysis based the occupation list from multiple sources over the web comprising of 350 occupations suggests that “males are given higher level occupations than females”. Thus, “When it comes to occupation like ‘teacher’ or ‘student’, females are high in number. But for ”lawyer” and ”doctor” the story is totally opposite.”
The study says, “There is a distinct demarcation in verbs, adjectives, relations associated with males and females”, adding, “While 80% of the movie plots have more male mentions than females, surprisingly, more than 50% movie posters feature actresses.”
The study says, “Movies like ‘Gangaa Jal’, ‘Platform’, ‘Raees’ have almost 100+ male mentions in plot but 0 female mentions, whereas in all 3 posters females are shown on posters very prominently." 
It adds, "Also, when we look at image and plot mentions, we observe that in 56% of the movies, female plot mentions are less than half the male plot mentions, while in posters this number is around 30%.” 
As for the percentage distribution of screen-on time for males and female characters in movie trailers over the last 10 years, the study says, the “screen-on time for females is only a meagre 31.5 % compared to 68.5 % of the time for male characters.”
“Over the 10 years, anger constitutes 26.3 % of the emotions displayed by male characters as compared to the 14.5 % of emotions displayed by female characters”, the study says, adding, “Another trend which is observed, is that, female characters have always been shown as more happy than male characters.”

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