KAIST’s research says South Korea continue to view womanhood in a stereotypical way depicting it in films

KAIST’s research says South Korea continue to view womanhood in a stereotypical way depicting it in films

Production houses, say researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea, continue to view womanhood in a stereotypical way. Their results are published in the journal Proceedings of the 22nd Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing Association for Computing Machinery. The’ Bechdel Test’ was the most common and generic way to assess gender bias in films. This test shows the degree of gender bias in a movie by evaluating how strong women’s participation is in a movie. A film passes the Bechdel Test if it has at least two female characters talking to each other and the male characters are not connected to their conversation. The Bechdel Method, however, has inherent drawbacks about the evaluation’s precision and practicality. Second, as it is conducted subjectively by an individual, the Bechdel Test requires significant human resources. Most specifically, the Bechdel Test analyzes just one element of the film— the character dialogues in the script— and offers only a dichotomous test result. To overcome these limitations, Professor Lee Byungjoo’s KAIST research team proposed a system using computer vision technology to automatically analyze the visual information of each film frame. It allows the system to determine how female and male characters are portrayed in films more realistically and literally. The researchers analyzed 40 films released between 2017 and 2018 from Hollywood and South Korea. Before using facial recognition and object detection technology to check the identification of the actors and their surrounding objects in the scenes, they downsampled the films from 24 to 3 frames per second. Male characters, on the other hand, were more likely to show aggressive emotions in the same films, such as anger and hatred. The type and frequency of the index of surrounding objects showed that only 55.7 per cent of female characters and vehicles were tracked together as much as that of male characters, while they were more likely to show up with furniture and in a household. Female characters appeared less often in films than males in terms of temporal occupancy and mean age and were on average younger in 79.1 percent of cases. These two indices were particularly prominent in Korean films. “Our work revealed that from a patriarchal viewpoint, many commercial films represent women. I hope this outcome will encourage public awareness of the value of caution as filmmakers create characters in films, “Lee said.