A new study from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Signal Analysis and Interpretation Lab reveals that men speak more than twice as often as women in Hollywood. More than 1,000 scripts of popular top-grossing films were analysed, and this included more than 7,000 characters and 53,000 dialogue. “Out of the pieces of dialogue, men had more than 37,000 while women had little more than 15,000,” The Wrap reported. “That means men speak roughly 70 percent of all film dialogue.”

Earlier, a study commissioned by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism had revealed that Hollywood has a long way to go to better its representation of women, LGBT groups, ethnic minorities and disabled groups.

The USC study also analysed the content of dialogue in their sample scripts. “Female characters tend to speak more positively and talk about things like family,” added the report. “Meanwhile male characters talk about achievement and use more swear words. People of colour tend to talk more about sex, while black characters use more swear words.”

The study used a tool developed by the lab along with existing cognitive and developmental language tools to quantify the sophistication and tone of language of characters and dialogue. The researchers included Anil Ramakrishna, Victor R Martinez, Nikolaos Malandrakis, and Karan Singla, doctoral students in computer science and professor Shrikanth Narayanan.

A report in Indiewire quoted Ramakrishna’s conclusion of the study: “Writers consciously or subconsciously agree to established norms about gender that are built into their word choices. In an ideal world, gender is in an auxiliary fact, it is has nothing to do with the way actors are presented and what they say.”

This directly led to an analysis of the gender of the writers of these scripts. “If female writers were in the writers’ room, female character representation on screen was on average 50 percent higher,” reported the publication.

But even as such findings are reported, there are critics who feel that Hollywood and men are synonymous with each other.

In July, film critic Kyle Smith was criticised for her take on the Bechdel Test, a marker of whether a film has a fully formed woman character in it. “Smith argued the Bechdel Test is as arbitrary as a hypothetical Cowboy Test, which would evaluate whether movies feature cowboys in them,” reported the Entertainment Weekly. “He also wrote that “movies aren’t intended to be a proper demographic cross-section of America. Movies (at least Hollywood movies) are about people on the extremes of society — cops, criminals, superheroes. These extreme characters tend to be men, and men tend to be the ones who create them.”

The report also added that Smith said “women’s movie ideas aren’t commercial enough for Hollywood studios,” because “women tend to write movies about relationships, and men tend to write movies about aliens and shootouts”.

The Bechdel Test.