Title: The aging woman in popular film: Underrepresented, unattractive, unfriendly, and unintelligent
Journal / Publication: Sex Roles
Issue: 7 – 8
Pages: 531 – 543
Bazzini, Doris G.
McIntosh, William D.
Smith, Stephen M.
The present study examined 100 top-grossing motion pictures spanning from the 1940s through the 1980s (20 movies from each decade). Eight hundred and twenty-nine characters were rated on attractiveness, character goodness, intelligence, friendliness, socioeconomic status, romantic activity, and movie outcome. It was hypothesized that ageist and sexist stereotypes would interact such that (a) older female characters would be more underrepresented, and (b) more negatively portrayed, than their male contemporaries. Both hypotheses were supported. Implications regarding double standards for age, and the media’s propagation of beauty-related standards for females were discussed.