One day before the United Nations’ annual “International Day of the Girl Child,” the Parents Television Council is urging broadcast media outlets to consider the impact of violent and sexual content on young women and girls. The conservative group on Friday released a new report on sexualization, violence and the sexual exploitation of females on scripted primetime broadcast television. The report’s findings, the group said, suggest that depictions of violence against women and teenage girls are increasing at a far more rapid pace than depictions of violence against their male counterparts.

Specifically, PTC said incidences of violence against women increased 120 percent from 2004-2009, while incidence of violence irrespective of gender increased only 2 percent for the same period. The group also found that the likelihood of sexual exploitation against female characters increased if the characters were young adults, and they were highest if the characters were underage.

For the purposes of the study, PTC cited the definition of “sexualization” used by American Psychological Association’s Taskforce on the Sexualization of Girls. The definition of “sexual exploitation” came from the U.N. Secretary General, who calls sexual exploitation “any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another.”

PTC said it released the report as its contribution to the U.N.’s annual observance. Day of the Girl Child was first observed on Oct. 11, 2012, following a resolution sponsored by Canada Minister of Health Rona Ambrose. The event is meant to draw attention to the challenges girls around the world face and focus on solutions for solving them. Each year, U.N. officials call on governments to address issues such as child marriage, sex trafficking and gender inequality.

In a statement, Tim Winter, president of PTC, said the goal of the new research report is to increase awareness of the U.N.’s effort and to encourage “greater accountability for those who produce, distribute and underwrite harmful programming.”

The group typically focuses on broadcast television, and often attacks shows such as Fox’s “Family Guy” for its raunchy humor. (The new report does not mention any specific TV shows.) Its “4 Every Girl” project has been highly critical of TV shows that make light of issues such as rape, child molestation and sex trafficking. PTC has also blasted advertisers such as McDonald’s Corp., whose commercials air during such programs.

Read the full PTC report here, and visit the U.N.’s International Day of the Girl website here.



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