At its recent D.I.V.E.R.S.E. Festival, Channel 4 released research it has commissioned on gender representation on TV.
The results were fairly conclusive: after examining 500 hours of TV across the broadcasters (BBC, ITV, C4, C5 and Sky 1), the researchers found that:
- Men are twice as likely as women to appear on TV, although these ratios change significantly by genre, with sport having the lowest number of women on screen.
- Women over the age of 50 are still very under-represented.
- Women are better represented in major roles than minor, incidental ones.
- The most serious forms of sexism have been eradicated from British TV, however low-level sexism continues to thrive on screen.
- There are 5 sexist incidents per hour, at peak time, on each channel.
- 72% of these incidents are directed at women and 28% at men.
- Women are 5 times more likely to be the object of sexist remarks than men.
- Sexual/physical objectification is the most frequent incident.
- Comedy has the highest number of incidents, proportionately.