Prime-Time TV Showing Signs of Improvement

A pair of newly released studies shows that prime-time television is taking a gradual turn to the moral “right.”

The first study shows the presence of father-figures on prime-time television is increasing. The study by the Parents Television Council finds that while there are more dads on prime TV, the networks are not promoting traditional families in which children live with both married parents.

According to the study, 64% of children on 119 sitcoms and dramas live with their biological fathers and 83% have father figures — but the study found that less than half live in “traditional” families.

The study also found that 8% of children in these programs live in joint custody situations where both parents, though separated, share time with the children — and of that number, 92% of those children live with their mothers. The rest live with their fathers.

The study was conducted during the 2001-2002 television season by reviewing each of the 119 television programs on the seven broadcast networks. The study was the PTC's first analysis of the presence of father figures on prime-time television.

Heads Up, Advertisers!

The second study shows that racy, sexually explicit TV shows inhibit viewers’ memories of television ad content. This study, conducted by researchers at Iowa State University, is the first to measure whether sexually-explicit programming helps — or detracts from — marketers’ advertising messages.

The research found that people watching shows packed with sexual scenes were much less likely to remember the commercial content both immediately after the show’s conclusion and a day later. Researchers say the counter-productive impact on memory was seen in people between ages 18 and 25 — the group that advertisers often target and programmers try to attract with risqué shows.

The Iowa study found that those who watched sexual or violent programs remembered 67% fewer products than those who had watched programs without sexual or violent content.

Findings of the study were published in the Journal of Applied Psychology. Researchers say their work could show advertisers and programmers that sex and violence do not sell.

(This article courtesy of Agape Press.)

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