Reality on MTV: Gender Portrayals on MTV Reality Programming

In a new report, the Parents Television Council examines the good, the bad and the ugly of MTV’s most-watched reality programming. PTC’s new study, “Reality on MTV: Gender Portrayals on MTV Reality Programming” is based on a content analysis of the most popular primetime cable reality shows among children and teens ages 12 to 17 during the 2011 TV season. The top four programs all aired on MTV and include: “Jersey Shore,” “Real World,” “Teen Mom 2” and “16 and Pregnant.” To view PTC’s full report, click here

The overarching question PTC sought to address was, “What messages are being communicated to young viewers through the lens and language of reality television?” The findings suggest a disturbingly unrealistic portrayal of “reality” with harsh, demeaning, degrading and sexualized dialogue. While women were routinely the recipients of denigrating language, they also were more likely than men to be negative to themselves and to other women.