Terrifying Reality TV Statistics: Free With Every Box of Thin Mints

October 14, 2011


A study conducted by the Girl Scout Research Institute (which is apparently a real place, where I doubt there are serious-looking women walking around with clipboards while wearing the little uniform) has concluded that girls who watch awful reality TV shows have worse images of themselves and beliefs about how to behave as women.  I know.  Shocker.  They found that these girls “expect a higher level of drama, aggression, and bullying in their own lives, and measure their worth primarily by their physical appearance.”

"Damn it, Becky. Your findings are anomalous, yet you're presenting them as somehow categorical! "

These girls who watch more horrible shows about repulsive women being despicable also tend to believe that “gossiping is a normal part of a relationship between girls” (78%) and that “girls often have to compete for a guy’s attention” (74%).  In addition, 72% of girls who watch a lot of reality TV also say they spend a lot of time trying to look pretty (38% say that a girl’s overall value is based on how she looks). No word from the Boy Scouts on the relationship of watching reality TV and using Axe Body Spray.   While these results are hardly surprising, they’re certainly distressing.  But it is, sadly, only the latest in a string of research showing the dangers of reality television.

Among the other recent studies regarding television watching habits findings:

Impressionable viewers who watch Jersey Shore are 38% more likely to have negative opinions about Italians, young adults, people who exercise, women, idiots, men, alcohol, New Jersey, coastlines, human beings, and the prospect of our continued existence. (source: The Boys & Girls & Applied Statisticians Club of America)

Regular viewers of America’s Got Talent are 21% more likely to believe that America does not, in fact, have talent. (source: The Little-League Baseball Department of Advanced Kinesiology Studies)

Scientists who conducted a survey of people who watch the program Survivor were stunned to learn that Survivor is still on. (source: The Federated University of Those Kids Who Try to Sell You Magazines At Your Door So They Can Get A Scholarship, And You Buy Some To Be Helpful Even Though The Prices Are Totally Inflated, And Then The Magazines Never Come)

Pictured: 4H headquarters, in Copenhagen.

Adults who watched episodes of Keeping Up With The Kardashians were 30% more likely to utter the phrase, “I’m sorry, who are they?”  19% more likely to say, “Why do they have a TV show?” and a whopping 46% more likely to angrily mutter, “Do they… do they do anything?  Is there some talent they’re famous for?  Why does this exist?” (source: The 4-H International Research Station)

Regular viewers of Chopped are more 27% more likely to serve their families a main course that includes the ingredients chipotle peppers, Sweetarts, aspirin, and whale blubber. (source: The Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake, Culinary Institute for Baker-Persons [admitting women since 1978])

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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24 Comments on “Terrifying Reality TV Statistics: Free With Every Box of Thin Mints”

  1. BrainRants Says:

    This is funny. You have talent.


  2. Nonstepmom Says:

    I applaud your research methodology and thorough fact-checking!


  3. cassiebehle Says:

    You should do a study on the amount of people who read this blog and believe it’s statistics and their sources. 😉


  4. gojulesgo Says:

    Ahhh The Chopped one sent me into a giggle fit! (One time they made them use GRAPE gelatin powder!) Pretty sure 100% of your readers will experience similar symptoms after reading this.


  5. Blogdramedy Says:

    I’m glad to see you’re researching them and not watching them. If a person with low self-esteem sat and watched every reality tv show going…that person I’d like to meet. Just imagine the stimulating conversation and unlimited opportunities for humor.


    • Byron MacLymont Says:

      I actually had to do a Google search for “popular reality tv 2011”. I’ve seen a couple episodes of “Chopped” (you’ll notice that’s the only one with specific detail about what happens during the show) and about 3 minutes of Jersey Shore, out of morbid curiosity.


  6. KendallJ Says:

    As you say, not surprising yet distressing initial stats… but my god, funny through and through thereafter! I loved the caption under the girl scouts pic. And the genious of “admitting women since 1978”! Keep ’em comin’, Byron!


    • Byron MacLymont Says:

      I suppose there’d be no drama in releasing statistics that show, for example, “Girls who watch a lot of TV usually turn out just dandy!” but it is as distressing as it is predictable.


  7. Deborah the Closet Monster Says:

    Love the magazine one! (Safe to say I will never be able to forget Survivor.) I wish you could be the statistics master who’d make the reality conform to your statistics. The ones that started your entry were terrifying indeed.


  8. natasiarose Says:

    When I was girl scout age there wasn’t reality tv and I still received those messages. It was probably from Full House, that show was pretty intense.


  9. somebody Says:

    When I was a cub scout we didn’t get to research reality TV. Of course, that was back in the 70s. Great blog!


  10. Erynn Elizabeth Says:

    Piffle. I can only assume this is the spawn of our “why corduroy” conversation, which was leading up to my “Why Reality TV?” blog post. But you beat me to the punch.
    Damn you!
    I SHANT be so careless next time.
    ps. i hate you for being funnier than me.


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