- YouTuber to pay restitution after a teen fan died copying her video 1 Year Ago
- Antonio Brown sent ‘intimidating’ texts to an accuser, including a pic of her children Today 9:38 AM
- Facebook suspended tens of thousands of apps after Cambridge Analytica scandal Today 8:24 AM
- How to stream Browns vs. Rams on Sunday Night Football Today 6:00 AM
- How to watch ‘NFL Primetime’ on ESPN+ Today 5:00 AM
- How to stream Liverpool vs. Chelsea Friday 6:45 PM
- How to stream Real Madrid vs. Sevilla Friday 6:35 PM
- How to stream Peter ‘Kid Chocolate’ Quillin vs. Alfredo Angulo Friday 5:16 PM
- How to stream Barcelona vs. Granada Friday 4:50 PM
- ‘Atlantics’ tells a ghost story steeped with emotion and realism Friday 4:16 PM
- ‘Jojo Rabbit’ is a sweet, singular movie that loses its grip on satire Friday 3:40 PM
- Jordan Peterson is in rehab for Klonopin addiction Friday 3:34 PM
- The cat-worshipping turkey cult video, explained Friday 3:22 PM
- Despite legal threats and drama, the Area 51 desert event is on Friday 3:05 PM
- How to stream Yair Rodriguez vs. Jeremy Stephens on UFC Fight Night Friday 3:00 PM
X-Files’ FBI agent Dana Scully has long been one of television’s great protagonists and a revolutionary character for many fans, but now a new study reveals just how much influence Scully has had.
Women have long cited Scully, who was a medical doctor on top of working alongside Fox Mulder at the FBI, as part of the reason they chose a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) or law enforcement. For many of those fans, the presence of Scully in male-dominated fields as a smart and intuitive agent (and not a stereotype) did wonders to change their perception of male-dominated fields. It’s even got a name—the “Scully Effect”—and it was even referenced by Gillian Anderson at San Diego Comic-Con in 2013 after she was asked about how often women told her that Scully influenced them to pursue science careers.
A new study conducted by 21st Century Fox, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and J. Walter Thompson Intelligence now shows what fans have anecdotally known for years: Dana Scully has had a profound effect on female fans and women who went into STEM careers. More than 2,000 women participated by filling out an online survey, with participants all being old enough to watch The X-Files when it originally aired (ages 25 and older, with the majority of them being in a position to enter the workforce when it aired) and many of them had careers in STEM fields.
The effect that Scully had on women and female X-Files viewers, is expansive. She influenced how women viewed STEM fields, with two-thirds of participants saying that Scully “increased their belief in the importance of STEM” while roughly half said Scully was behind their own interest in STEM. Sixty-three percent of women said that Scully was a role model for them, and 63 percent of women said that Scully showed them it was possible to work and succeed in male-dominated fields. Her presence on television made her an instant favorite, with 91 percent of people who knew of Scully citing her as a “strong female character on television.”
The study shows a small sample of women—with an emphasis on women in STEM—but the effect Scully has had on women and STEM is already profound. And as Star Trek long demonstrated with many citing it as why they wanted to work at NASA, seeing that possibility (and seeing a reflection of yourself on TV) goes a long way.
Michelle Jaworski is a staff writer and the resident Game of Thrones expert at the Daily Dot. She covers entertainment, geek culture, and pop culture and has brought her knowledge to conventions like Con of Thrones. She is based in New Jersey.