PTC STUDY REVEALS LESS TV SEX
Parents Television Council

Detailed Review of Family Hour Programming Shows Fewer Incidents of Sex on Every Network Except WB

Today, in a press conference on Capitol Hill, Parents Television Council President Brent Bozell, accompanied by Senator Sam Brownback and Congressman Jim Greenwood, released the results of the first of three forthcoming comprehensive studies on the state of the television industry. The study released today focuses on the amount of sex on television during a review period from 1998 through 2002.

The results were astounding. Every broadcast network, with the exception of the WB, experienced a dramatic decrease in sexual content during the Family Hour (8-9 pm ET/PT), and every network but the WB and UPN has shown improvement during the second hour of prime time (9-10 pm ET/PT). Two additional state of the television industry studies, scheduled for release later this year, will focus on violence and adult language on television during the same survey time period: 1998 through 2002.

“For years, conventional wisdom in Hollywood had it that ‘sex sells,’ and therefore, the more of it, the better. But ratings data and survey results prove that’s not true. Parents don’t want their kids to be exposed to irresponsible messages and explicit depictions of sex on TV – but more than that, parents don’t want to see it either,” said L. Brent Bozell, President of the Parents Television Council.

Major Findings of Today’s State of the Television Industry Study on Sex Includes:

8:00-

9:00 PM ET/PT

1998

2000

2002

Sexual Content (Per Hour)

% Change ’98-’00

Sexual Content (Per Hour)

% Change

’00-’02

Sexual Content (Per Hour)

% Change

’98-’02

ABC

6.4

?15.9%

5.38

?60.4%

2.13

? 66.7%

CBS

2.36

?78.8%

.5

?342%

2.21

?6.4%

Fox

9.56

?65.2%

3.33

?50.2%

5

?47.7%

NBC

4.91

?119.6%

10.78

?34.1%

7.1

?44.6%

UPN

4

No Change

4

?12.5%

3.5

?12.5%

WB

2.75

?36.4%

1.75

?194.9%

5.16

?87.6%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sexual content during the Family Hour on ABC is down 67% from 1998, with a 60% decrease since 2000 alone. ABC has also shown a 75% decrease in sexual content during the second hour of prime time since 2000. ABC was also the only network to show a decrease in sexual content during the last hour of prime time (10-11:00 p.m. ET). Such material is 41% less frequent now on ABC than it was in 1998.

Sexual content during the Family Hour on Fox is down 48% since 1998. Fox has shown a 79% decrease in sexual content during the second hour of prime time since 1998, and a 75% decrease in the past two years alone.

On CBS there has been a 6% decrease in sexual content during the Family Hour since 1998, and a 39% decrease in sexual content in the second hour of prime time since 1998.

NBC’s Family Hour has improved over the past two years by 34%. NBC has shown a 37% decrease in sexual content during the second hour of prime time in the past two years.

Sexual content during Family Hour on UPN is down 13% from 1998.

The WB and UPN were the only networks to show no improvement during the second hour of prime time (9:00 p.m. ET/PT). Sexual content increased by 50% during that time slot on UPN and increased by 13% on the WB since 2000.

Excluding the WB, during the first hour of prime time sexual content is down by 28.6% during the Family Hour since 1998. Including the WB, sexual content is down 9% for all of the major networks during Family Hour programming.

Without the WB and UPN sexual content has decreased by 39.9% during the second hour of prime time. Sexual content is down by 12% across all the broadcast networks during the second hour of prime time.

Some coarsening of content has offset these quantitative improvements in the previous two statistics. During the Family Hour in 1998, 84% of all sexual content fell into the category of “innuendo.” In 2002, 62% of all sexual content was sexual innuendo and other types of sexual content became more common. Innuendo accounted for 85% of all sexual content during second hour of prime time in 1998. By 2002 innuendo accounted for only 47% of sexual content. In 1998, non-marital sex, references to prostitution, transvestites, adultery, nudity and pornography accounted for less than 3% of all sexual content. In 2002, such material accounted for 26% of all sexual content.

“In recent years, countless surveys have shown that parents and adults without children are growing increasingly concerned about the amount of rampant sex on TV. This state of the television industry study reveals that Hollywood may finally be getting that message and is starting to produce more quality family-friendly programming that can be enjoyed by a wider spread of television viewers. This is a major victory for families-and Hollywood,” concluded Bozell.

Read the Full Study


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