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Black and white, male and female: Racial and Gender Differences in Adolescents' TV Diets
Unformatted Document Text:  Black and White 12 Motivations for television viewing The analyses reported here focus on the 2,942 teens who provided complete responses to the six pages of questions about their television use and those respondents who identified themselves as African American or White (93% of the sample). These analyses thus include 761 (34%) Black females, 577 (26%) Black males, 843 (37%) White females, and 761 (34%) White males. Respondents ranged in age from 10 to 16 with a mean and median of 12.8 years old. Results There is little evidence of a common teen television culture among adolescents in this sample. Black teens in the sample reported significantly more shows they watched regularly than Whites. One-third (42) of the shows on the list were watched regularly by at least 30 percent of the Black girls and Black boys regularly watched 39 shows. In comparison, more than 30 percent of White girls chose only 18 of the shows and White boys only 15. The difference in number of shows watched by Blacks and Whites may be due to the significantly more time the Black teens spend watching television than the Whites. In this sample, 39% of the Black teens reported watching television “almost all the time I’m not in school” as compared to 16% of the White teens (X 2 [15], N = 2947) = 297, p < .001). There was no significant difference in time spent viewing television by gender Table 1 presents the 20 television shows watched by more than 30 percent of the Black adolescents and fewer than 30 percent of White adolescents. The most striking thing about this table is the clear preference that Black teens have for television shows with Black characters and themes. All but three of the shows (WWF Smackdown, Disney’s Doug and Movies on HBO) feature Black characters and/or all Black casts. Even WWF Smackdown, the premiere professional wrestling show, often includes Black wrestlers, and HBO’s movie list frequently includes movies with Black actors. Although some White adolescents regularly watch these same

Authors: Brown, Jane. and Pardun, Carol J.
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Black and White
12
Motivations for television viewing
The analyses reported here focus on the 2,942 teens who provided complete responses to
the six pages of questions about their television use and those respondents who identified
themselves as African American or White (93% of the sample). These analyses thus include 761
(34%) Black females, 577 (26%) Black males, 843 (37%) White females, and 761 (34%) White
males. Respondents ranged in age from 10 to 16 with a mean and median of 12.8 years old.
Results
There is little evidence of a common teen television culture among adolescents in this
sample. Black teens in the sample reported significantly more shows they watched regularly than
Whites. One-third (42) of the shows on the list were watched regularly by at least 30 percent of the
Black girls and Black boys regularly watched 39 shows. In comparison, more than 30 percent of
White girls chose only 18 of the shows and White boys only 15. The difference in number of shows
watched by Blacks and Whites may be due to the significantly more time the Black teens spend
watching television than the Whites. In this sample, 39% of the Black teens reported watching
television “almost all the time I’m not in school” as compared to 16% of the White teens (X
2
[15], N
= 2947) = 297, p < .001). There was no significant difference in time spent viewing television by
gender
Table 1 presents the 20 television shows watched by more than 30 percent of the Black
adolescents and fewer than 30 percent of White adolescents. The most striking thing about this
table is the clear preference that Black teens have for television shows with Black characters and
themes. All but three of the shows (WWF Smackdown, Disney’s Doug and Movies on HBO)
feature Black characters and/or all Black casts. Even WWF Smackdown, the premiere
professional wrestling show, often includes Black wrestlers, and HBO’s movie list frequently
includes movies with Black actors. Although some White adolescents regularly watch these same


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