For decades, the world of superheroes was dominated by men, but that is all slowly yet surely changing. Wonder Woman stands as a reminder for what female-led films can do in theaters, and Doctor Who bolstered the sci-fi genre this weekend by debuting its first female Doctor. So, fans shouldn't be too surprised a new study says the world is in need of more female superheroes.
Recently, BBC America and the Women's Media Center did a study polling entertainment sectors about the impact of visible female heroes. The full study found the gender gap separating men and women on-screen has a large impact on young views especially.
When it comes to superhero or sci-fi projects, the study says teenage girls are less likely than male counterparts to call themselves confident. The demographic was asked if they saw enough powerful role models of their own gender on-screen, and 2/3 of female participants said no.
As such, the study says it is important that female representation within the superhero and sci-fi genres changes.
"There's something sort of elemental to sci-fi [and] fantasy, magic storytelling that just feels really resonant as girls and boys are forming their ideas of who they can be," Sarah Barnett, the president of BBC America, told The Hollywood Reporter.
"I think ultimately the role of a superhero is an expression of power that is very important in shaping boys' and girls' ideas of who gets to inhabit the power situation and how. For us, it felt like the right space to explore for the study."
Continuing, the president of Women's Media Center said she felt it was surprising to see that the majority of men polled admitted there was a disparity in representation.
"It was really surprising, for me, the fact that boys as well as girls, teenage boys and girls, both recognized there are fewer opportunities for women and girls," Julie Burton explained. "That's at a young age, and that's setting the track for their whole future of what they choose and what they think they can be. But the fact that boys were recognizing there's a gender difference in opportunities is extremely powerful."
While steps have been taken to diversity Hollywood's representation of women, progress has been slow to come around. Still, there is movement forward, and fans are eager to see what is to come for female superheroes. Soon enough, Carol Danvers will wave the solo flag for MCU fans as Captain Marvel will be led by her next spring. DC Films is currently filming its Wonder Woman sequel, and a female-led feature Birds of Prey is in development. So, fans will want to keep a close eye on how these blockbusting studios move forward with their promises of inclusivity in the next few years.
If you want to check out the full study, you can read up on the BBC's results here. So, what do you think of this study? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!