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Male characters on kids TV shows use STEM skills, female characters use magic

Kids get an early glimpse of gender inequality on television.

That’s according to a new study by researchers from Rutgers University-New Brunswick and the Center for Scholars and Storytellers. A majority of main characters in American children’s fictional TV programming are male, the study found. Men also have a dominant presence behind the scenes: They create a majority of shows, and even write and direct a majority of episodes.

‘Females on children’s TV are 2X as likely to use magic to resolve problems, while males are more likely to use STEM skills and physical power.’

Female characters are more likely than male ones to be portrayed as thin, the study found, and almost twice as likely (50% versus 29%) to be sexualized based on appearances.

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