Men seem to be putting a downer on female-focused television shows. According to a new study “Men Are Sabotaging The Online Reviews Of TV Shows Aimed At Women” by Walt Hickey at FiveThirtyEight, males usually review shows aimed at women negatively by giving them a lower rating, affecting their overall score.
For example, “Sex and the City,” a popular and Award-winning series, received an IMDB user rating of 7.0. The study shows that, “Nearly 60 percent of the people who rated ‘Sex and the City’ on IMDb are women, and looking only at those scores, the show has an 8.1. That’s well above average. Male users, though, who made up just over 40 percent of ‘Sex and the City’ raters, assigned it, on average, a 5.8 rating.”
So if men didn’t rate down on shows not aimed at them, many program could potentially have different ratings.
The study goes on to show that overall there are a lot of agreements between the sexes in what shows they watch and like. It even shows a list of programs rated 9 or higher by both men and women, with both having similar shows on each list. It also showed the differences between series that appeal predominantly to one gender or the other, with the results having a variety of titles.
Looking at different variables and series with more than 10,000 ratings – which are considered popular – the numbers showed that men thought the programs that skew female were below average.
So the problem is that the single over-all rating number strips out a lot of the substantial meaning. While the study doesn’t think that they should segregate the ratings by gender, it does think that the overall number shouldn’t be taken for what it is.
“They have the habit of lumping the divisive among the universally mediocre. And as long as they purport to underscore the true value of a work, they undermine people’s ability to find new and interesting material just because a subset of passionate and vociferous dudes on the internet somehow hold it in low regard,” says Hickey.
“To understand the whole picture, you need to dive into the data,” he writes. “Whether you like ‘Sex and the City’ or not, its score is being sabotaged by one gender; it’s time to ask whether user scores are truly as objective as they purport to be.”