Primetime Nudity Increases Dramatically
Special Report - September 6, 2012
A television watch-dog group reports that instances of full nudity have increased more than five times on primetime television since last year, and is demanding that Congress instruct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to “vigorously enforce broadcast decency laws.” The new analysis by the Parents Television Council (PTC) “compared depictions of full frontal nudity during the 2010-2011 primetime broadcast television season to depictions during the 2011-2012 season.” It defined full front nudity as “only…scenes in which individuals are completely unclothed” with only the private body parts “blurred from the viewer.” The analysis found that the incidents of full nudity had risen from 15 incidents on 14 shows in the 2010 to 2011 season to 76 incidents on 37 shows in the 2011-2012 season. The majority of these depictions occurred during the “primetime” hours when children are most likely to be watching.
Key findings from the PTC study include:
- Nearly 70 percent of the scenes that depicted full nudity during the 20112012 season were on shows that aired before 9:00 pm and as early as 7:00 pm.
- Out of 76 instances of full nudity during the 20112012 season, only five of those depictions occurred on shows that contained an "S" descriptor alerting parents to the explicit adult content.
- Only one instance of full-frontal nudity occurred in a PTC study during the 2010-11 television season, compared to 64 instances in the 2011-12 season.
- “During the 20102011 study period, black bars, logos, and/or conveniently placed objects in a scene were used to block the view of sexual organs from the viewer 87 percent of the time. In contrast, during the 20112012 study period, 74 percent of the incidents of full nudity used blurring or pixilation to cover sexual body parts.”
In an August 20 letter to Congress about the analysis, PTC President, Tim Winter, reminded lawmakers that they passed the 2006 Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act “in response to growing outrage from the American people over the broadcast networks’ abuse of the publicly-owned broadcast airwaves.” Winter continued, “Yet since that time, we have seen a concerted effort on the part of the networks to constantly push the outer limit of what may be considered appropriate for the broadcast medium.” Mr. Winter noted that, "During prime time hours across all broadcast networks, use of the bleeped or muted f-word increased from 11 instances in 2005 to 276 instances in 2010... It’s not just the language that’s getting coarser. PTC research has found a staggering increase in the frequency and explicitness of pixelated nudity on the broadcast networks during primetime hours.”
"The networks have made it abundantly clear they have no intention of respecting either the broadcast licenses they’ve been granted or the public in whose interest they are licensed to serve,” Winter wrote. “We call on you to give the FCC your full support for decency enforcement; to urge the FCC to move forward with all due haste in clearing the backlog of 1.6 million unadjudicated indecency complaints; and to give the FCC the tools it needs to ensure enforcement actions are meaningful and appropriate.”
"Television and music are the two media forces that are shaping the minds and morals of our youth today and, for the most part, both are working overtime against the values that most parents try and teach their children," said Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. "Despite what Congress or the FCC does or does not do, parents need to be proactive in monitoring and controlling what their children see and hear."
Supreme Court To Hear TV Decency Case - January 9, 2012
Stereotypes Prevalent In Reality TV - December 30, 2011
Dangers of Animated Programs - August 29, 2011
Sexualization of Teen Girls - December 28, 2010
Court Challenges Indecency Policy - July 19, 2010
TV Violence Against Women Increases - September 9, 2009
Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in Indecency Case - November 3, 2008
Primetime TV Glorifies Non-Marital Sex - August 13, 2008
High Court to Rule on FCC Indecency Rule - March 20, 2008
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