Saturday, December 18, 2010

Parents Television Council Releases Study Revealing The Targeted Sexualization Of Teenage Girls By Hollywood

On December 17th, 2010, the Parents Television Council (PTC), a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment, released a study which illustrates how thoroughly and systemically Hollywood deliberately targets teenage girls for sexualization. Entitled "Tinseltown’s New Target: A Study of Teen Female Sexualization on Primetime TV", it's based on a content analysis of the most popular primetime broadcast shows among 12 to 17-year-olds during the 2009-2010 TV season. The official press release is excerpted below.

Nielsen data was used to identify the top 25 shows for ages 12 to 17. Analysts focused on scripted, primetime broadcast programming on the top 25 list which aired during the first two weeks of the November 2009 sweeps period (October 29th, 2009 - November 11th, 2009) and the May 2010 sweeps period (April 29th, 2010 – May 12th, 2010). The data was reviewed based on numerous different factors ranging from the genre of the program to the gender of the initiator and the participant’s attitude toward the sexualizing incident.

For purposes of this study, “sexualization” was defined as the act or process of sexualizing. It refers to the making of a person, group or thing to be seen as sexual in nature or a person to become aware of sexuality. It also refers to the making of an interpersonal relationship into a sexual relationship.

-- Read the 21-page report HERE.
-- Read the 72-page report entitled "Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls" HERE.
-- "Media blitzing teens with misleading sex messages", Deseret News, December 17th 2010.
-- "Study examines prime time TV, sexualization of teen girls", Deseret News, December 17th 2010.

In general, PTC found that when underage female characters appear on screen, more sexual content is depicted, the teen girls show next to no negative response to being sexualized, more sexual incidents occur outside of any form of a committed relationship, and there is less accuracy in the TV content rating.

Major Findings:

• Underage female characters are shown participating in a higher percentage of sexual depictions compared to adults (47 percent and 29 percent respectively).
• Only 5 percent of the underage female characters communicated any form of dislike for being sexualized (excluding scenes depicting healthy sexuality).
• Out of all the sexualized female characters depicted in the underage and young adult category for the entire database, 86 percent were presented as only being of high school age.
• Seventy-five percent of shows that included sexualized underage female characters were shows that did not have an “S” descriptor to warn parents about the sexual content.
• Based upon a definition established by the American Psychological Association of “healthy” vs. “unhealthy” sexuality, the study findings show that 93 percent of the sexual incidents involving underage female characters occurred within a context that qualified as “unhealthy.”
• The data revealed that 98 percent of the sexual incidents involving underage female characters occurred outside of any form of a committed relationship.
• The data show that 73 percent of the underage sexualized incidents were presented in a humorous manner or as a punch line to a joke.

PTC doesn't merely want more warnings -- they want a REVERSAL of this trend. To accomplish this goal, PTC President Tim Winter notes that "It will take action from parents, actors themselves, and advertisers who pay for TV content – not to mention awareness on the part of the public and our elected representatives – to instigate change. Combining the pervasiveness of teen sexualization with the well-documented research on the consequences – everything from body dissatisfaction to depression – should be more than enough".

PTC should have also identified producers and media executives as a key component as well. Oftentimes the producers pressure actors into playing edgier roles, as they compete with each other in a race to the bottom to grab the entertainment dollar. But in the final analysis, it's going to take us, the general public, to turn things around. We need to quit patronizing these people. We need to quit watching their movies and buying their souvenirs. And, whenever possible, we need to avoid patronizing the advertisers and companies who help finance this rubbish. Self-discipline is imperative. We also cannot allow ourselves to be stymied by political correctness; if our own research leads us to uncomfortable conclusions, such as those found by L.A. Times columnist Joel Stein in December 2008, we must not be deterred. Our kids are our future.

1 comment:

  1. Parents Television Council Releases Study Revealing the Targeted Sexualization(PERVERSION)of Teenage(WHITE)Girls by Hollowjewood.GET SOME BALLS.