Pimping Teenage Girls; Television Writes a Lower Exploitation Standard
Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Hollywood loves to preach. A new study suggests that Tinseltown's famous cameras should be turned on Hollywood itself to find the sinners. Prime-time TV programmers are finding a new standard of exploitation, pimping teenage girls.
A hardy group of researchers at the Parents Television Council subjected themselves to 238 broadcast sitcoms and dramas airing during four ratings sweeps weeks in 2011 and 2012. They found that a third of what they saw rose to the level of sexual exploitation of females, according to the report released Tuesday.
The likelihood that a scene would include exploitation increased dramatically whenever a teenage girl walked near the camera, and so did the chances that she would be the butt of the joke: Girls were more likely to be the target of sexual jokes than women, 43 percent compared with 33 percent. The artificial laughter on the sound track directs the audience when to laugh and provide cues for what should be viewed as funny.
The study gives a pass to crime dramas, such as NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, in which the exploitation is typically portrayed - as the word Victims in the title suggests - as bad behavior. Things usually end badly for the perp.
Sitcoms, on the other hand, are made for exploitation. Among the examples cited are an episode of Fox's Glee, in which a pair of adolescents play a game of strip poker, and in another episode of the Fox cartoon series Family Guy, adolescent character Meg appears onstage at a sex-slave auction. This girl is perfect if you want to buy a sex slave, the auctioneer declares, but don't want to spend sex-slave money. …