Public Release: 

The most popular TV series among youngsters in Spain recreates violence

FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology

Published in the Comunicación journal, a study conducted by the University of Seville analyses violence content in Spanish TV series. It concludes that Telecinco's Sin tetas no hay paraíso is the most violent of the five studied.

Despite the fact that other series have more scenes or minutes of violence, according to the study, the Telecinco series is more powerful in its transmission of values that are more detrimental to youngsters in terms of their perception of aggressive behaviour and its consequences.

Sara González, the author of the study, explains to SINC that "this series displays a greater convergence of the negative principles that contribute to learning and imitating of behaviour on the part of young viewers, who mainly make up the viewing public for this type of programme."

Total number of minutes of violence was counted

González counted the amount of scenes and the number of minutes of violent content in the first season of 5 popular Spanish TV series: Águila Roja, El internado, Sin tetas no hay paraíso, Hispania, la leyenda and El barco. The only one out of the five with the 'not recommended for viewers under 18 years' classified was El internado.

The above were chosen for being "the five national series in Spain in the last five years (2007-2012 inclusive) recording a 20% share of viewings in the first season while having a viewing public mainly comprising 16 to 30 year olds," outlines González.

For example, in Hispania, the series with the highest proportion of violence containing minutes, there is more than one hour of violence in total out of the 11 hours that make up the entire first season. The study highlights the opposite in the case of El internado, which has seven minutes of violence throughout the six episodes that make up the first season.

In terms of the proportion of minutes of violence, Hispania is followed by Águila Roja, Sin tetas no hay paraíso, El barco and El internado, Sin tetas no hay paraíso was studied in more depth although due to the type of violence it contains.

Violent Elements

The study outlines some of the violent principles observed in the Grundy Producciones series. These included the physical attractiveness of the protagonist (usually the aggressor), violence being portrayed as the only solution to problems, the lack of punishment after acting violently and the association of aggression with masculinity.

As the study indicates, the series portrays violent actions as an effective way for the aggressor to achieve their goals. What is more, scenes of violence are not usually followed by the damage caused by the aggressor and more time is spent focusing on violent actions with very few shots in these types of scenes.

The author of the study feels that the influence of these series on aggression among youngsters "could be very negative, as it could induce viewers to imitate the behaviour of their favourite characters. It is therefore vital to analyse not just the quantity of violent images but also the way that they are represented."

As for the reason why violence appears on the television, González outlines that "a criteria of coherence with reality" exists but she believes that an attempt is made "to grab the attention of the viewers through the use of shocking scenes in order to get more viewers."

The researcher also thinks that the violence on the television does not necessarily mean that the viewer is particularly interested in it, but rather they are more "familiar with murderers, fights and the like as being presented in a sensational way and they are used to seeing violence as a natural human reaction in the face of conflictive situations."

In addition, the violent content could attract viewers because it gives them "a feeling of excitement, enthusiasm, stimulation more characteristic of the action genre than of violence itself," concludes González.


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