When I saw this article I had to jump on it – after all, this blog is all about the way women are represented (and mostly misrepresented) in the media.
Apparently, the Girl Scouts Research Institute did some research on how watching reality tv affects young girls. The results aren’t surprising, but that shouldn’t make them less disturbing.
1,141 girls between the ages of 11 and 17 participated in the survey. 37% of the girls who watched reality tv regularly said that it’s ok to lie to get what you want, while 24% of the non-reality tv watchers agreed with that statement.
Similarly, more reality tv watchers agreed that you have to be mean to others to get what you want.
72 % of the reality tv viewers said they spent more time on their appearance, compared to 42% of the girls who didn’t watch the shows.
One of the biggest concerns mentioned in the research is the fact that kids and teens don’t have the maturity to understand what’s going on in the shows, and don’t realize that these shows are scripted, and aren’t a true reflection of reality at all.
People involved in the research expressed concerns that as more young girls start watching these shows, we’ll end up creating a nation of “mean girls,” who will grow up into selfish, obnoxious women. The show America’s Next Top Model and Tyra Banks were mentioned several times as being particularly bad examples for girls to follow.