Found this via Drudge:
Prime Time TV 'Objectifies and Fetishizes' Underage Girls, Study Says
By Hollie McKay
Published December 16, 2010, FoxNews.com
By Hollie McKay
Published December 16, 2010, FoxNews.com
Long gone are the days when Marcia Brady’s sweet smile and Winnie Cooper’s brains and beauty were how television represented teen-age girls.
According to a new study conducted by the Parents Television Council (PTC), Hollywood is shockingly obsessed with sexualizing teen girls, to the point where underage female characters are shown participating in an even higher percentage of sexual situations than their adult counterparts: 47 percent to 29 percent respectively.
PTC’s report, entitled “New Target: A Study of Teen Female Sexualization on Primetime TV” is based on a content analysis drawn from the 25 most popular shows in the 12-17 demographic throughout the 2009-2010 television season.
“The results from this report show Tinseltown’s eagerness to not only objectify and fetishize young girls, but to sexualize them in such a way that real teens are led to believe their sole value comes from their sexuality," said PTC President Tim Winter. "This report is less about the shocking numbers that detail the sickness of early sexualization in our entertainment culture and more about the generation of young girls who are being told how society expects them to behave."
“Storylines on the most popular shows among teens are sending the message to our daughters that being sexualized isn’t just acceptable, it should be sought after,” Winter said. “It is outrageous that TV executives have made it their business to profit off of programs that depict teen girls blissfully being sexualized by casual partners.”
Examples used by the PTC to illustrate their findings, all taken from prime time broadcast television, included Taylor Momsen’s character in bed with Ed Westwick on “Gossip Girl,” Annalynne McCord taking a swig of alcohol while donning a bra and panties on “90210,” and a lesbian kiss between cheerleaders on “Glee.”
The data, based on factors ranging from the genre of the program to the gender of the initiator and the participant’s attitude toward the sexualizing incident, also revealed that 98 percent of the sexual incidents involving underage female characters occurred outside of any form of committed relationship, and that 73 percent of the underage sexualized incidents were presented in a humorous manner or as a punch line to a joke.
Winter also claims that TV networks can’t be trusted as 75 percent of the time they leave off the “S” descriptor to warn audiences about sexual content. However, Adam Temple, the Coalitions Director at the TV Watch Organization, a broad-based coalition that opposes government control of TV programming, said that examining the age appropriate rating is the most important factor to take into consideration.
“You have to look at the whole story. First and foremost shows are rated based on age, so before you even get to the point of those content descriptors (such as ‘S’ for sex, ‘L’ for language and ‘V’ for violence) parents have to decide what is appropriate,” Temple said. “As with other PTC studies, it is very subjective, so 'reader beware.’ It is important to remember that parents are the ultimate authority, and that this seemingly ‘scary’ study based on vague methodology is subjective.”
Nonetheless, the PTC and its supporters don’t simply just want networks to slap more warnings on programs – they’re calling on parents, actors, and advertisers to take action and demand that the trend to air content based on teen sexualization be reversed. However, Temple argued that end of the day it is up to parents to take control over what their children can and cannot view.
“Parents understand that all programming is not for all children and, according to polling conducted solely among parents, take seriously their efforts to ensure their children view what is appropriate based on their age, taste and values,” he said. “What is increasingly difficult to take seriously, is a patchwork of studies characterized by vagaries and omissions, apparently intended to raise money because the group has the word 'Parents' in its name."
But another expert not associated with these studies or organizations firmly believes that Hollywood is indeed sexualizing underage characters on its shows for profit.
“Certain shows, advertisers, etc. sexualize underage people, which does double damage: it sends a message to youth that their self-worth depends on their sexuality, and provokes inappropriate sexual responses from adults. This is irresponsible programming and is disrespectful to youth,” Los Angeles-based psychologist Dr. Nancy Irwin said. “This (PTC) study is not being blown out of proportion.”
(Story ends here. My commentary follows.)
For some reason I thought of a portion of "The Godfather" (the book, not the movie) where Tom Hagen is leaving a Hollywood mogul's office and he sights a mother & young preteen daughter he'd seen earlier. The daughter had just come from an interview with a studio head, the interview evidently taking place on his casting couch. Hagen was disgusted.
Mario Puzo supposedly incorporated a lot of fact into that novel. I've no doubt that part of it wasn't strictly his imagination at work.
IMO the article posted above details a sign of our culture in general. TV programs only provide a glimpse of the iceberg's tip, tightening broadcast standards treats the symptom and not the disease.
In our present society younger women are completely objectified as desirable sex toys for boys of all ages. (Disclaimer note: my wife is 22 years younger than I. As God is my witness, when we first made contact the idea of hooking up with someone young enough to be my daughter was the L-A-S-T thing on my mind!)
The idea of young hotties willing to strap on older "studs" at the drop of a hat is so much the norm these days that it raises nobody's eyebrows. FWIW, a few decades ago that idea would have been regarded as vulgar and disgusting.
But not today. Not anymore.
It's more proof that we've lost our cultural bearings, that following the religion of "I'm Okay, You're Okay" and it's implied ban on any moral judgements of one another has been the wrong path to take.
As the article states, parents ARE the ones in charge. Too damned many don't acknowledge that fact. It's time for those of us with Judeo-Christian values to speak up in all venues. That includes the schools, the workplace, the sports bar, every possible area.
Time to speak out against "adult sex workers" and their ilk who may work in the neighborhoods. Time to speak to the manager of the local food store who routinely places magazines with scantily clad women in the racks near checkout stands. Time to be heard. Time to write the editors of various "women's magazines" and castigate them for making their lead stories all about staying sexy longer in life, instead of holding up genuinely intelligent and accomplished women as examples to follow.
Because our daughters don't need to be taught that the size of their boobs and tightness of their butt are whats important in life. They don't need to learn to "show their goods" for all to see as they walk down a school hallway. They shouldn't feel weird if they keep their virginity past high school. They should be encouraged to be smart, competent and independent. They should be taught to expect their men to treat them like ladies, with courtesy and respect. They should have the confidence to enforce that mindset.
When you get right down to it, women are the ones who civilize a nation. Leave it to us men and we're all happily back in the Stone Age, scratching our asses for fleas and wondering whats for dinner.
It's way past time to realize we've gone too far down the wrong road. Time to turn back.