Men Hate TV Shows Aimed at Women, Study Says

The more popular a show is among women, the more likely men are to give it a lower rating

sex and the city hbo

Men are skewing online ratings of female-oriented TV shows, giving them worse scores and dragging down the series average.

According to an analysis of IMDB ratings for popular TV shows by FiveThirtyEight‘s Walt Hickey, the more popular a show is among women, the more likely it is to be rated poorly by men.

One prominent example is HBO’s Emmy-winning “Sex and the City.” The show has received an average rating of 7.0 from IMDB users, with 60 percent of those rating the series being women. Among female users, the show has an average rating of 8.1. Among men, it’s a measly 5.8.


Looking at the English language series that received 1,000 or more ratings from users, Hickey found that the larger share of ratings coming from women, the lower men rated the show on average. And the effect is not nearly as severe in the opposite case.

The data also shows that men were more likely to give the lowest rating (1 out of 10) to shows more popular among women. 3.3 percent of the ratings by women for the top 100 male-skewing shows were 1 out of 10. But in the opposite case, men were twice as likely to pan a female-skewing show. 6.7 percent of the votes by men on the top 100 female-skewing shows were a 1.

And as Hickey points out, that’s not necessarily an indication of quality:

But the data doesn’t support the contention that female-skewed programming is inherently worse: Women gave their top 100 shows, on average, a 7.8 rating, about the same score they gave the top 100 male-dominated programs, 8.0. But here’s where that Twitter egg’s perception might come from: Men gave their top 100 an average score of 8.2 but gave the top 100 female-skewed shows a mere 6.9 average ratings. Shows with more than 10,000 ratings are inherently popular and yet men thought the programs in that group that skew female were below average.

But men and women did generally agree when it comes to their favorite shows. According to Hickey’s analysis, shows like “Game of Thrones,” “Sherlock” and “The Wire” were among the top-rated shows for both genders.