First Advisor

Lauren Frank

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Communication Studies and University Honors




Alison Bechdel (1960- ) -- Criticism and interpretation, Sex role in motion pictures, Teen films, Feminism, Objectification (Social psychology) in mass media, Women in motion pictures, Sexism in motion pictures




This paper examines the Bechdel Test and its accuracy in measuring the progressiveness of films. The Bechdel Test is a set of parameters that are used to measure a film's representation of women; for a film to pass the Bechdel Test, two named women must talk to each other about something other than a man. In the United States, 40% of films still fail this test. The representation of women in film, especially teenage girls, creates a negative stereotype; it shows that they are aggressive and only care about their male love interests. The experiment in this paper compares two different movie scenes, one passing the test and one not, to measure whether perceived progressiveness, acceptability, portrayal of sex in media, sex roles, and which sex wrote the movie differ in either of the scenes. The scenes come from two different teen romance movies, both Netflix Originals. The paper critiques the Bechdel Test and the creation of new tests to show the disparity of gender in movies.


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