As regular readers know, I’ve been watching Season 11 of So You Think You Can Dance, the mixed-style dance competition show, and have been documenting whether the women are generally expected to show more skin than the men.
The season is over, the winner has been announced — and I’ve added up the total routines over the season, to see how many of them had women more naked than men, how many had men more naked than women, and how many had rough nudity parity between the male and female dancers.
In this final roundup, I have only included routines that included both women and men: i.e., I have not included same-sex routines or solos. I have also not included guest performances. I have only included male-female routines of the competitors, in routines that were part of the competition.
Women more naked than men 8
Men more naked than women 0
Nudity parity 2
Woman more naked than man 56
Man more naked than woman 1
Nudity parity 11
(For those who are curious, I break this down by different dance styles a little later in the post. For the routine-by-routine documentation, read the individual posts in this series.)
So the answer, in short is yes. Assuming that this season is representative of the show in general, then the female dancers on So You Think You Can Dance are, in fact, generally expected to show more skin than the men.
A lot more.
In group routines, greater female nudity outnumbered nudity parity by four to one. In couple routines, greater female nudity outnumbered nudity parity by five to one. And there was literally one — count ‘em, one — routine this season in which the man showed more skin than the woman.
When I started this project, I suspected that the show didn’t have nudity parity. I did this documentation project to see if my perception from past seasons were accurate, or if it was just confirmation bias. But while I expected that I’d find a nudity imbalance, I didn’t expect it to be quite this glaring.
Four to one in the group routines. Five to one in the couple routines. And that’s the imbalance between “more female nudity” and “nudity parity” — not the imbalance between “more female nudity” and “more male nudity.” Of the 78 relevant routines in this season, there was literally one in which there was more male nudity. I will say that again, in case you missed it — ONE.