FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 28, 2009
“Our new research points to a disturbing trend: by depicting violence against women with increasing frequency, or as a trivial, even humorous matter, the broadcast networks may ultimately be contributing to a desensitized atmosphere in which people view aggression and violence directed at women as normative, even acceptable,” said PTC President Tim Winter.
“Just last week, actresses like Nicole Kidman testified before the Congress that Hollywood probably has contributed to violence against women by portraying them as weak sex objects. We all must pay attention to the fact that this is a problem in our society. The fact is that children are influenced by what they see on TV and that certainly includes media violence,” said PTC Director of Communications and Public Education Melissa Henson.
The study compares the qualitative and quantitative differences in the treatments of violence against women on prime time broadcast television between 2004 and 2009. PTC analysts examined all primetime programming (excluding sports and news programs) on the major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC)* during the February and May 2004 and 2009 sweeps periods for a total of 209.5 hours of programming.
Incidents of violence against women and teenage girls are increasing on television at rates that far exceed the overall increases in violence on television. Violence, irrespective of gender, on television increased only 2% from 2004 to 2009, while incidents of violence against women increased 120% during that same period.
The most frequent type of violence against women on television was beating (29%), followed by credible threats of violence (18%), shooting (11%), rape (8%), stabbing (6%), and torture (2%). Violence against women resulted in death 19% of the time.
Violence towards women or the graphic consequences of violence tends overwhelmingly to be depicted (92%) rather than implied (5%) or described (3%).
Every network but ABC demonstrated a significant increase in the number of storylines that included violence against women between 2004 and 2009.
Although female victims were primarily of adult age, collectively, there was a 400% increase in the depiction of teen girls as victims across all networks from 2004 to 2009.
Fox stood out for using violence against women as a punch line in its comedies -- in particular Family Guy and American Dad -- trivializing the gravity of the issue of violence against women.
From 2004 to 2009 there was an 81% increase in incidences of intimate partner violence on television.
*CW and MyNetworkTV did not exist in 2004.
with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please
contact Kelly Oliver (ext. 140) or Megan Franko (ext. 148) at (703)
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.