If He Can See It, Will He Be It? Representations of Masculinity in Boys’ Television

“If He Can See It, Will He Be It? Representations of Masculinity in Boys’ Television” was developed through a collaboration among Promundo, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at Mount Saint Mary’s University, and the Kering Foundation. The report analyzes how men are represented on screen, in the most popular boys’ television. The study examined the top 25 Nielsen-rated television programs (from 2018) among boys ages seven to thirteen, including a television dataset of a total of 3,056 characters from 447 episodes. 

The report finds that male characters on the most popular TV shows for boys are portrayed as aggressive, uncaring, and as hands-off parents; it concludes by providing recommendations for action, such as: for content creators to make commitments to inclusive storytelling and to portraying male characters with a full range of emotions on screen; and for parents to avoid media that reinforces damaging gender norms, and maintain open dialogue with boys at home.

Read the key findings here.

Access more recommendations for content creators and parents here.

Learn more about the Global Boyhood Initiative here.