The Parents Television Council (PTC) isn’t set to release the report, “Reality of MTV: Gender Portrayals on Reality TV,” until this Wednesday, but Fox News got a sneak peak in advance and has summarized the findings. (Jezebel accurately commented that their report provides an early view of the study through “an additional layer of puritanical hysteria.”) The PTC studied one season each of the top four prime-time shows viewed by 12- to 17-year-old adolescents – ”Jersey Shore,” “16 and Pregnant,” “Teen Mom 2,” and “The Real World” – and collected a bounty of not so surprising statistics. Most prominently, it the report found that the majority of crude or negative remarks came from female cast members. Only 24 percent of the comments made by females in regards to themselves were positive, and women spoke about sex more frequently and graphically than males.
I am amused, and of course not surprised, that “Jersey Shore” provided 47 percent of the collected disparaging remarks and 59 percent of the sexual references. Really, is any of this surprising? Jersey Show is a notorious s**t show founded on excessive drinking and promiscuous sex; “Teen Mom 2″ and “16 and Pregnant” follow young girls as they navigate a notoriously challenging and culturally taboo experience; and “The Real World” should be retitled “The ‘Real’ World.” If parents were intent on monitoring their child’s television consumption, taking a gander at any random episode of each of these series would be a quick tell-all of the moral values provided. The PTC’s study would be useful if it actually studied how young people responded to these shows, rather than assuming they viewed them as the building blocks for life. [HLN TV]