- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Incidents of violence against women on mainstream U.S. televisionhas increased by 120 percent in the past five years, with the depictionof teen girls as victims rising by some 400 percent, the ParentsTelevision Council said in a report on Wednesday.
The media watchdog said it was particularly disturbed by the use ofviolence against women in comedies and said it hoped TV networks andadvertisers would stand up against the trend.
“I hope the industry will look at our data and be as shocked as I was,” PTC president Tim Winter told reporters.
The report suggested that violent acts against women and teen girlswas increasing at rates that far exceed the two percent increase inoverall violence that the study found existed on TV between 2004-2009.
The PTC compared prime-time programing on networks ABC, NBC, CBS andFox in February and May 2004 and the same months in 2009. It said everynetwork except ABC showed a dramatic increase in stories that includedbeatings, violent threats, shooting, rape, stabbing and torture.
The PTC findings reflect a sharp rise in the number of crime serieson TV, such as the popular CBS franchise “CSI” which is one ofAmerica’s most-watched drama series.
But the report singled out Fox, saying the network allowed violenceagainst women to be trivialized through punch lines in its satiricalanimated comedies “Family Guy” and “American Dad.” It cited one May2009 episode of “Family Guy” in which a character gets divorced under afictional 18th century procedure — by shooting his wife dead.
The Parents Television Council, founded in 1995 to highlightchildren’s exposure to sex, violence and profanity on television, saidit was concerned that U.S. television was contributing to an atmospherein which violence directed at women was viewed as normal.
“The fact is that children are influenced by what they see on TV andthat certainly includes media violence,” said Melissa Henson, thegroup’s public education director.
A second TV pressure group, TV Watch, accused the PTC of seeking toexpand government control over TV output and said parents should havethe final say on what their children watch.
“This so-called ‘study’ is…an attempt to force all televisioncontents to conform to their own beliefs. Parents have the tools toenforce the decisions about their children’s viewing,” Jim Dyke,executive director of TV Watch said in a statement.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day