Timed with the launch of the new season of “Doctor Who” this past weekend, BBC America and the Women’s Media Center have jointly published a new study on the impact of representation in science fiction and superhero storytelling on young audiences.
2,431 girls and boys aged 10-19 and parents of children aged 5-9, who answered on behalf of their child, were surveyed over the Summer. Turns out every demographic group surveyed want to see more female superheroes and sci-fi role models in film and television: “[they all] expressed a desire for more female heroes in the sci-fi and superhero genre, with girls, especially girls of color, and, also boys of color, most likely to want more sci-fi/superheroes who look like them.”
The study adds that “it confirms that representation onscreen can positively affect a child’s confidence, career trajectory, and overall self-image.” The study finds teen girls are significantly less likely than teen boys to describe themselves as confident, brave, and heard. Also, girls of color are significantly less likely than their Caucasian counterparts to feel listened to when they speak.