TV vulgarity lower but worse

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Sexual content in the so-called family hour has decreased on broadcast TV,
but what there is has become 'raunchier,' according to a Parents Television
Council study released Wednesday.

'Coarse' language is up 78 percent, according to the study, and violence is
up 70 percent.

The study, christened 'The Sour Family Hour,' looked at six weeks of 'family
hour' shows from the 2000-01 TV season.

It found that since the last study in 1998-99, sexual content is down 17
percent to 3.1 instances per hour, but those instances now deal with topics such
as oral sex and pornography, which, until recently, were rarely touched
upon.

United Paramount Network was dubbed the worst offender with 18.1 offending
instances (including sex, violence and vulgarity) per hour, almost double that
of NBC at 9.1, followed by Fox at 7.8, The WB Television Network at 7.5, ABC at
6.7 and CBS at 3.2.

The word 'ass' was the most frequently used 'vulgarity,'
at an average of more than once per hour.

UPN responded to the PTC study in a prepared statement: '[W]e strongly
believe in viewers' rights to make informed choices about what they watch, which
is why we voluntarily and clearly label every UPN program with a content
rating.'

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