Report: TV's trivializing serious issues

Friday, July 12, 2013
 | 
Russ Jones (OneNewsNow.com)

A television watchdog group is deeply troubled to find that underage girls on prime time broadcasts are more likely to be presented in sexually exploitative scenes than are adult women.

The new research from the Parents Television Council's (PTC) "4 Every Girl Campaign" also shows that such scenes are typically presented as humorous.

Henson, Melissa (PTC)

Melissa Henson, director of communications and public education for PTC, tells OneNewsNow that out of 238 scripted episodes that aired during the study period, 150 episodes (63 percent) contained sexual content in scenes that were associated with females, and 33 percent of the episodes contained sexual content that rose to the level of sexual exploitation.
"What we are seeing is an increase in sort of the trivialization of issues like child molestation, rape, prostitution and sex slavery," Henson laments. "In fact, in many cases, the younger the child involved in the scenario, the more likely it was to be treated in a humorous manner."

Findings from the report reveal that sexual exploitation has become a common topic and a comedic topic on prime time television in shows airing as early as 7:00 Central time. Nearly 40 percent of the content in the present study was intended for purposes of humorous entertainment.

"These are shows that are animated, which makes them attractive to kids," the PTC communications director notes. "We know that kids are watching. They're treating a very grave and serious issue as something that is inconsequential."

PTC concludes that the prevalence of images that trivialize sexual exploitation can be interpreted as sanctioning the sexualization of women.

Holly Austin Smith, child trafficking survivor, advocate, author and speaker, stresses the importance of this research:

"Negative messages in the media, including the sexual objectification of women, create a climate which supports the tactics of sexual predators," she states. "Sex traffickers understand how these messages influence vulnerable children, and they are using it to their advantage."

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

How will LGBT supporters respond to the Johns Hopkins study? (Choose all that apply)

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

  Clinton e-mail scandal builds with new evidence of Foundation connections
  States file another lawsuit over Obama transgender rules
FBI probing stabbing where suspect shouted 'Allahu akbar'
2 officers cleared in Gray case to receive back pay
Arkansas city sued over hot check court fines, arrests
Traffic fatalities continued to surge in first half of 2016
Israeli police on alert ahead of Celtic match
Ex-Fox News host files lawsuit against Roger Ailes, others

LATEST FROM THE WEB

On modern anti-Semitism, Christian silence is complicity
Liberal, moderate or conservative? See how Facebook labels you
'Black Lives Matter' gang attacks white men; where's the outrage?
Time for blacks to grow up
Apparently, shower caps are now a racial issue

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day

REASON & COMPANY

NEXT STORY
Warning to parents: ‘These are not the cartoons you grew up with’

Caution: This article describes media content that is extremely offensive

The Parents Television Council has issued an urgent warning to parents and advertisers concerning the explicit content of an animated programming block that just launched.