Actresses say half as many words on-screen and occupy half the number of film roles, a new study has found.
Researchers analysed one thousand movie scripts and looked at the content and tone of characters’ language, their interactions across gender, race and age and the number of dialogue scenes both male and female characters were involved in.
Of the scripts and 53,000 dialogue scenes reviewed, they discovered that female characters are much less likely take a central role in comparison to their male counterparts.
While women had just over 15,000 dialogue scenes in the films, men had more than 37,000.
Pictured: Actress Jennifer Lawrence, who wrote an open letter asking why her male co-stars earned more than her in the 2013 movie American Hustle.
Equally as shocking, women portrayed just over 2,000 characters whereas men had more than double – at almost 4,900.
Speaking about female representation on screen earlier this year, veteran actress Glenda Jackson said: ‘I have found it all extraordinary all my professional life that creative writers don’t find women interesting.
‘They are almost invariably there as an adjunct to male driver of dramatic engine. ‘
The academic study also found male dialogue contained more words related to achievement, death and more swear words than the dialogue scripted for women.
The researchers at USC Viterbi School of Engineering in Los Angeles found that if female characters were removed from most movie genres, the plot and the relationships to other characters did not need to be altered significantly.
The exception was when women were in horror movies when they were most likely to be portrayed as victims and so to leave female characters out would cause disruption.
Speaking about female representation on screen earlier this year, veteran actress Glenda Jackson (pictured) said: ‘I have found it all extraordinary all my professional life that creative writers don’t find women interesting'
The research emerges following a row in Hollywood over the gender pay gap.
Actresses including Jennifer Lawrence, Natalie Portman and Helen Mirren have spoken out against the pay discrimination in the industry.
Hollywood’s gender pay gap was highlighted in 2015, when hacked documents from film studio Sony Pictures revealed major pay disparities between top actors.