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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Violence Against Women Surges on TV



I guess the theme this week is "when things go wrong." It seems like just when I think we are getting a grip on public health issues like smoking and violence against women, something appears to shake up my naive belief that we are making progress.

Last month the Parents Television Council (PTC) reported that incidents of violence against women on mainstream U.S. TV has increased by 1.2 times in the past five years with the depiction of teen girls as victims being four times as high as it was five years ago. This particular type of violence seems to be increasing at a higher rate than just regular violence, which makes it worse.

Singled out as the worst offender was Fox which the PTC said allows violence against women to be trivialized through punch lines in comedies like "Family Guy" and "American Dad." Faring the best was ABC (that is, until the AMA Award show last week) which apparently was the only network not showing a dramatic increase in the number of stories that included beating, violent threats, shooting, rape, stabbing and torture.

Granted, the PTC seems a little over-the-top conservative, but if in fact, violence against women is up on TV, parents need to be helping teens make responsible choices about what they watch and what messages they are willing to be receiving with their entertainment!

Photo credit: Jace
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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