TV sexualizes young girls

In 2010, the Parents Television Council found that young girls were being increasingly sexualized on TV. They reported that “when underage female characters appear on screen: more sexual content is depicted; the teen girls show next to no negative response to being sexualized; more sexual incidents occur outside of any form of a committed relationship; and there is less accuracy in the TV content rating.”

Key findings include:

Underage female characters were shown participating in a higher percentage of sexual depictions compared with adults (47% and 29% respectively).

Based upon a definition established by the American Psychological Association of “healthy” vs. “unhealthy” sexuality, the study found that 93% of the sexual incidents involving underage female characters could be considered “unhealthy.”

98% of the sexual incidents involving underage female characters occurred outside of any form of a committed relationship.

Only 5% of the underage female characters communicated any form of dislike for being sexualized.

Seventy-five percent of shows that included sexualized underage female characters were shows that did not have an “S” descriptor to warn parents about the sexual content.

PTC President Tim Winter said, “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. 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.”

“Tinseltown’s New Target: A study of Teen Female Sexualization on Primetime TV,” Parents Television Council, December 15, 2010,

Copyright © 2013, Daniel Weiss. All rights reserved. Used with permission.