The American GirlScouts deliver quite a lot interesting research on youth. Last week they presented a report on the influence reality tv can have on girls. For me they are, in fact, talking about correlation than the causal relationship they like to suggest. From the research we learn that a majority of the surveyed girls think that reality shows ”often pit girls against each other to make the shows more exciting” (86 percent). If they compared the propensity towards relational agression between girls watching reality tv and girls who don’t, they notice that in the first group 78 procent thinks “gossiping is a normal part of a relationship between girls,” versus 54% with the non-viewers.
When discussing romantic relationships, than we we see that the reality tv watching girls more often stat that “girls often have to compete for a guy’s attention” (74 percent vs. 63 percent), and they tend to be more happy if they are dating or in a relation. (49 percent vs. 28 percent). Girls who watch reality TV tend to be more focused on physical appearances. 72 percent put a lot of time in how they look, this compared with 42 percent of the non-viewers. More than a third (38%) thinks that the value of a girl depends on how she looks…
But at the same time the research found that the girls watching reality tv on a regular basis are more self-assured. They think of themselves are more grownup, as a good influence, more funny,… They are more inclined to take the role of leader and see them selves more as an example.
The research suggests that watching reality tv has also benefits. 68 percent of the respondents agree with the idea that such programs ”make me think I can achieve anything in life”. 48 percent agres with the answer that reality progams “help me realize there are people out there like me.” Download the report here (pdf). Check it out below on SlideShare: