Violence Against Women On TV Is Increasing

Do you scratch your head when people shriek about sex being too graphic on TV when someone is getting punched or shot before every commercial break? Yeah, me too. A new study by the Parents Television Council (granted, a conservative organization) should have everyone concerned. It counted over 400 acts of violence against women and female teenagers on prime-time ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox shows from February until May of this year. When the group conducted the same study five years ago, they counted less than 200 acts of violence against women. The PTC clocked an increase of over 120 percent for beatings, murder, threats and rape of adult women, as well as an over 400 percent increase against teenage girls. I don’t even know what to say about these stats. My educated guess would be that most of this violence happens to women (often young, often attractive) on detective/cop shows, like “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” My roommate’s a big fan of that show and it seems like every damn episode involves a naked, dead 20-something.

While I’ll concede there may be instances where violence on TV is respectfully instructive — like on AMC’s “Mad Men,” when Joan Holloway’s fiancé raped her — by and large, we know the lurid tales of beaten or murdered women in NYC warehouses on cop shows are the lowest common denominators for plots. It’s terrible these shows are only getting more popular. You can’t tell me violence against women doesn’t become more acceptable to viewers who see it as often as prime-time TV viewers do. [Yahoo]