Despite what we’ve seen from the box office takes of big-budget action fare, a new study has come out from Nate Silver’s blog 538 that tries to take a quantitative look at gender bias in film. The results are predicated on a film either passing or failing something called the Bechdel Test. In order to pass the Bechdel test, a film must have two women have a conversation with each other about something other than a man.
The test was circulated by cartoonist Alison Bechdel, who wanted to create a lens to view the portrayal of women in film.
The study found that films that pass the Bechdel test, and ostensibly have better-written female parts, earn more money than films that don’t. Though it doesn’t seem to make sense with recent box-office juggernauts, you can’t argue with statistics. Well, I can’t. People smarter than me can.