20-Year-Old Study Could Have Predicted the Harvey Weinstein Scandal

Hollywood exec Harvey Weinstein.
Hollywood exec Harvey Weinstein. (REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo)

Researchers at Purdue University analyzed 48 hours of prime-time television in 1997 and found that 84 percent of the shows studied "contained at least one incident of sexual harassment." Incidents that were focused on in the study were verbal sexual comments, physical sexual advances, undue attention and even sexual bribery.

The study continues that these acts of sexual harassment "are presented in humorous ways, and victims are generally unharmed."

The study concludes by stating that "such programs potentially contribute to a climate that trivializes violence against women; that sees sexual harassment as legitimate, normal and acceptable styles of interactions; and that further silences its victims."

Could it be that the reason people like Harvey Weinstein believe they can get away with gross sexual harassment and that women feel the need to be silent is partially because of the movies and TV shows of the last few decades that have made sexual harassment normal?

Author of The Culture-Wise Family and How to Succeed in Hollywood (Without Losing Your Soul), Dr. Ted Baehr is chairman of the Good News Communications Inc. and its family guide to movies and entertainment, Movieguide® (movieguide.org).

Now in their 32nd year, Good News Communications Inc. and Movieguide® are the largest, longest-running international, nonprofit ministry dedicated to "redeeming the values of the entertainment industry by influencing industry executives and by informing and equipping the public about the influence of the entertainment media."

Movieguide®'s Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala honors the best, most family-friendly movies and television programs honoring God and inspiring audiences with messages of faith, hope, goodness, justice, redemption, forgiveness and true divine love. At the Awards, Dr. Baehr presents highlights from Movieguide®'s Annual Report to the Entertainment Industry, a comprehensive financial analysis of the movie business showing what kinds of movies and what kinds of movie content moviegoers favor the most with their hard-earned money.

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