Smart, sultry and surly : a textual analysis of the portrayal of women scientists in film, 1962 - 2005
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] The purpose of this study was to evaluate the portrayal of women scientists on film and what kinds of messages these films are sending about a woman's potential in science. Ten films were chosen, released between 1962 and 2005. The films were studied using textual analysis. Results indicated that male peers often treated the female scientist characters with disrespect and their work was disregarded. Additionally, many of the characters were portrayed as unsocial, emotionally unstable and hostile towards coworkers. These messages can be interpreted as discouraging to young women who may be interested in science, because the films suggest that women scientists work in an unfriendly environment and have poor social skills. Suggestions for improving messages about science aimed at girls include exposing them to real women scientists and engineers and creating more realistic film portrayals.
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