According to the Parents Television Council, a watchdog group of parents, young girls are depicted in a higher percentage of sexual situations than adult women in a slew of popular prime shows across the networks.
For their latest report, "Sexualized Teen Girls Are Tinseltown's New Target," the group focused on the 25 network TV sows that are most popular among children 12 to 17 years old, among them "The Office," "NCIS," "Two and a Half Men," "The Vampire Diaries," "Grey's Anatomy," "Desperate Housewives," "Lost," "Family Guy," "House," "Glee," "American Dad" and "The Simpsons."
They found that underage characters were sexualized at a higher rate than adult women characters in the shows, with the majority of the underage instances involving "suggestive dancing, erotic kissing, erotic touching and/or implied intercourse," while adult women were more often sexualized by comments and jokes from other characters.
They also noted that when underage female characters appear on screen more sexual content is depicted; the teen girls show little or 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.
The study separated "healthy sexuality" from the definition of "sexualization." So if a sexual scene shows two people bonding in the context of a relationship, the study did not categorize the scene as the sexualization of a female character. When a woman character's value was shown to be drawn from her sexual behavior, the study flagged the scene as sexualizing.
Parents Television Council spokeswoman Melissa Henson rejected the claim that these television shows are just being realistic or keeping with the times in their treatment of teens, "Television is profoundly influential, so it's a chicken or egg argument: Is TV this way because it's reflecting reality or is reality this way because it's reflecting TV? Girls do not seek to be sexually objectified," she said.
I'm a big fan of "Glee," but I have often found myself wondering about certain over-the-top episodes like the whole Brittney/Britney fiasco. What do you think? Do your favorite shows show too much when it comes to young girls?