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Gender gap

Disney’s quiet princesses: females have fewer lines in classics like “The Little Mermaid”

By WITW Staff on January 27, 2016

Disney Princesses may play a looming role in the imagination of young girls everywhere, but it’s a relatively quiet one, according to a new study that found that female characters in the more modern Disney films speak less frequently than male characters. The proportion of female-delivered lines to male ones in the early princess films is closer to equal, with Snow White at about 50/50, Cinderella around 60/40, and Sleeping Beauty at 70/30, according to researchers.

But for the films made between 1989 and 1999, men were found to speak for more than half the time or more: 71 percent of the time in Beauty and the Beast, 90 percent of the time in Aladdin, and 68 percent of the time in The Little Mermaid.

“There’s one isolated princess trying to get someone to marry her, but there are no women doing any other things,” Carmen Fought, a linguist and one of the researchers, told the Washington Post.

The most recent princess films, including Tangled, and Brave, have begun to reverse the trend, though Frozen gave 59 percent of its lines to men.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.