Studies about pop culture are important because television helps to influence what we perceive as "normal" in our society. Today, the Parents Television Council reports an increase in depicted violence against women on television - which carry real life implications.
According to the Associated Press:
The Parents Television Council released its report Wednesday. It says it counted more than 400 violent acts against women in prime time on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox shows in February and May this year. There were just under 200 during those months in 2004.
The council notes that acts against women are a small percentage of violence in prime time.
The report shows there were more than 3,900 violent acts not specifically aimed at women during those two months.
The study noted that depiction of violence overall has changed little over the years — up 2 percent from 2004. Depiction of violence against women, however, was up 120 percent.
It said 29 percent of the incidents were beatings, 18 percent credible threats of violence, 11 perdent were shootings, 8 percent were rapes, 6 percent stabbings and 2 percent torture — but that in 92 percent of the incidents, graphic violence against women was depicted, not just implied.
Why is it suddenly more permissible to show violence against women on television? Just thinking of a few of my favorite shows, TrueBlood features a lot of psychopaths and demonic possession, so that may explain the reliance on violence; Weeds also features depictions of violence, particularly in Nancy's relationship with Esteban - but I've only casually watched since season three. And then there's Mad Men (screengrab above). But beyond those, I'm having problems trying to remember what shows feature violence - and I wonder if I'm starting to become desensitized since I can't remember.