In recent years, there has been a steadily increasing number of female superheroes gracing movie and TV screens, proving to mainstream audiences that yes, women can be just as amazing, badass, and heroic as any man.
Well, according to some new research, female superheroes aren't just there to save the day. Seeing women superheroes on screen has a positive impact on young audiences that need, and want, to see them.
In a new study conducted by the Women's Media Center and BBC America entitled "Superpowering Girls," over 58 percent of girls between the ages of 10-19 say that seeing female superheroes makes them feel like they can achieve anything. (The number was even higher—63 percent—for girls of color!)
As io9's James Whitbrook points out, that statistic is much higher than that of boys of the same age range, "who are usually catered to as the de facto audience for sci-fi, fantasy, and superhero fiction." Only 45 percent of boys 10-19 strongly agreed that seeing male superheroes on screen can make them feel like they can do anything.
The WMC and BBC America's study also found that seeing female superheroes makes 84 percent of the repsondents feel strong, 81 percent of them feel brave, and 80 percent of them feel confident.
So what does all of this mean?
This study is further proof of why representation matters, especially for the people, and characters, whose voices aren't always given platforms and especially considering how big of an effect representation can have on viewers. The next time some troll tries to tell you representation doesn't matter, especially for women, hit 'em with some of these stats.
Read the Women's Media Center and BBC America's full "Superpowering Girls" study here!