On a Scale From 1 to 10, How Unsurprising Is It That Men Diss Female-Focused TV Shows On IMDb?

On a Scale From 1 to 10, How Unsurprising Is It That Men Diss Female-Focused TV Shows On IMDb?

By Laura Bradley

Some days bring news that is truly tragic, only because it is thoroughly unsurprising. For example, could anyone have guessed that men on average tend to give shows aimed at women lower scores on IMDb than women give to shows aimed at men? Probably not. That wouldn't be a huge deal if the majority of IMDb reviewers weren’t male, but they are. And, as it turns out, those men are far more inclined than women to diss shows that were never aimed at them in the first place.

As a result, shows aimed at women end up with lower ratings than those aimed at men, which ultimately allows men to come to cocktail parties and argue that "Sex and the City" and "The Carrie Diaries" are basically the same thing — or, as one data analyst put it, "shows with predominantly female audiences [are] getting screwed."

It's well worth reading the analysis from FiveThirtyEight of gendered IMDb reviews in full, as the detailed results are both nuanced and compelling. In short: IMDb has more male reviewers than female, and those male reviewers are far harsher on shows that are popular with women than women are on shows that are popular with men. By the numbers, FiveThirtyEight found that 70 percent of users rating TV shows were male. And when it comes to rating, the dudes of IMDb are not exceedingly fair: they gave the top 100 shows popular among women, like "Friends" and "Downton Abbey," an average rating of 6.9. Compare that with the 8.2 they gave their own top 100 shows (e.g. "The Sopranos" and "Seinfeld"), or the average 8.0 women gave the top male-dominated programs.

This isn't about quality of shows. Both genders have their trash — women just seem far less likely to bother sounding off on "Cops" than men are about "Teen Mom."

"The 25th-most-male program has 94 percent of its ratings from men," FiveThirtyEight points out. "The 25th-most-female show has only 75 percent of its ratings from women."

So basically, we've got men stopping by to give their two-cents on something that never really concerned them in the first place. What else is new? Unfortunately, any rating system is going to be subjective — and, as FiveThirtyEight notes, any rating system on the Internet is likely going to have more men making themselves heard than women. It’s their right, of course — just as it’s mine to roll my eyes next time some dude tries to tell me "Sex and the City" sucks.

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Photo Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Tags: women, sexism, TV