Support Our Work File an FCC Complaint Movie Reviews Join Us Family Guide to Primetime Television Home
Parents Television Council - Because Our Children Are Watching


1%-5% of your purchase will help support the PTC.

Share |


August 20, 2012


PTC Finds Shocking Spike in Full Nudity on Broadcast TV

Over Five Times More Full Nudity This Season Compared to Last


LOS ANGELES (August 20th, 2012) – Today, the Parents Television Council® released results of a research analysis regarding nudity on prime-time broadcast television. PTC found a 407% increase in the amount of full nudity that aired in the 2011–2012 study period compared to the same time period the previous year. In light of the findings, PTC president Tim Winter sent a letter to congressional members asking them to urge the Federal Communications Commission to move forward in clearing the backlog of 1.6 million unadjudicated indecency complaints.

In their analysis, PTC also found trends towards more full-frontal nudity, full nudity at earlier hours of the evening, and a clear failure on the part of the TV networks to use their content ratings system to warn parents. The following are excerpts from PTC’s letter to congressional members:

"In 2006, Congress passed the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act in response to growing outrage from the American people over the broadcast networks’ abuse of the publicly-owned broadcast airwaves.  Yet since that time, we have seen a concerted effort on the part of the networks to constantly push the outer limit of what may be considered appropriate for the broadcast medium. 

"Contrary to what executives from NBC, ABC, and CBS told you in 2004 and 2005, and contrary to what attorneys for the networks recently argued before the Supreme Court, they are not acting in the public interest; they are aggressively pursuing a dangerous agenda to completely obliterate any remaining television taboos.

"During prime time hours across all broadcast networks, use of the bleeped or muted f-word increased from 11 instances in 2005 to 276 instances in 2010 – an increase of 2,409%... It’s not just the language that’s getting coarser. PTC research has found a staggering increase in the frequency and explicitness of pixelated nudity on the broadcast networks during primetime hours.

"The networks have made it abundantly clear they have no intention of respecting either the broadcast licenses they’ve been granted or the public in whose interest they are licensed to serve.  Therefore the American people, whose values are being assaulted on a nightly basis, must insist that the Federal Communications Commission vigorously enforce broadcast decency laws, as mandated by the Congress and affirmed by the Supreme Court.

"We call on you to give the FCC your full support for decency enforcement; to urge the FCC to move forward with all due haste in clearing the backlog of 1.6 million unadjudicated indecency complaints; and to give the FCC the tools it needs to ensure enforcement actions are meaningful and appropriate… Because Our Children Are Watching."

Pinpointing September 1 – May 31 as the study period, the Parents Television Council compared depictions of full nudity during the 2010–2011 prime-time broadcast television season to depictions during the 2011–2012 season and found the number ballooned from 15 incidents to 76. This analysis excludes animated nudity or suggested full nudity and only includes scenes in which individuals are completely unclothed and only the sexual organs are blurred from the viewer. The analysis includes network specials, but excludes traditional news and sports.

Major Findings:

During the 2011-2012 season there were 76 incidents of full nudity on 37 shows compared to 15 incidents in 14 shows the previous year, representing a 407% increase in incidents.

  • Almost 70% of the scenes that depicted full nudity during the 2011–2012 study period were on shows that aired before 9:00 pm and as early as 7:00 pm. In comparison, 50% of the full nudity scenes aired after 9:00 pm the previous year.

  • Out of 76 instances of full nudity during the 2011–2012 study period, only five of those depictions occurred on shows that contained an "S" descriptor alerting parents to the explicit adult content.

  • Relative to full-frontal nudity, one instance occurred during the 2010–2011 study period and by the same time the following year, 64 instances of full-frontal nudity had aired. This represents a 6300% increase in just one year.

  • There was a 2700% increase in the use of blurring or pixilation to cover body parts in 2011–2012 compared to the previous year (n = 56 and n = 2 respectively).

  • During the 2010–2011 study period, black bars, logos, and/or conveniently placed objects in a scene were used to block the view of sexual organs from the viewer 87% of the time. In contrast, during the 2011–2012 study period, 74% of the incidents of full nudity used blurring or pixilation to cover sexual body parts.

To view additional data including examples of the content, please visit http://www.parentstv.org/PTC/publications/reports/NudityStudy_2012/2012_NudityMiniStudy.pdf

To view the full letter, please visit: http://www.parentstv.org/PTC/news/release/2012/0820_HillLtr.pdf.

To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Liz Krieger at (703) 683-5004 ext. 120
or Katie Glenn at (703) 683-5004, ext. 144.

The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.





JOIN US ON:          .

Parents Television Council, www.parentstv.org, PTC, Clean Up TV Now, Because our children are watching, The nation's most influential advocacy organization, Protecting children against sex, violence and profanity in entertainment, Parents Television Council Seal of Approval, and Family Guide to Prime Time Television are trademarks of the Parents Television Council.