Gentlemen, I have a task for you (sorry, straight men only on this one).
Please take a look at this and tell me, what was the speed limit?
Okay, you might have answered that one correctly, but what if it was not censored?
What speed limit?
What if you saw this on the street while driving 40 miles per hour?
(I did the conversion and you would be speeding in this case, assuming you didn’t slow down to…um….not run over the lady of course…but slowing down is what we are aiming for, right?)
So…I know I am currently speaking to the segment of population that hasn’t stopped reading this and flown to Denmark yet, and for that you have my thanks. But anyways, what if something like this happened during a news broadcast?
Ever heard of Megyn Kelly? and yes, she is a Fox news anchor (for all my Democrat friends, let’s keep the political jokes to a minimum). So now back to my straight male readers, imagine her giving the news, and don’t worry, she will be more covered than the Danish lady. How much news will you be able to absorb?
So just very recently, two researchers from the University of Indiana conducted a study related to that specific question. Essentially, what they found was that men retain much less information when there’s a sexier anchor.
SHOCKING, right? As an engineer, I sometimes marvel at what science can tell us.
So what does this all mean?
I do not blame the news channels for increasing number of “hot” news anchors out there. Let’s face it, we don’t need another scientific research to tell us that on average straight men are more likely to stop at a news channel with sexy anchors while channel surfing. News channels are for-profit, and they are trying to increase their ratings. If we regulate the anchors’ appearances, shouldn’t we also anchor all the distracting (well, at least to me) color schemes that fly around? And I’m sure we’ve been hearing a lot of “attractiveness discrimination” in, ironically, the news. So that is one ethical issue in itself.
But now we have this research results – we know that our suspicions are true. What is the ethical thing for news channels to do? News is meant to inform the public, but this research clearly shows that “sexier” women aren’t doing that as efficiently. Sure, we can tell the news anchors to all put turtlenecks on, but should we? And should we police who can anchor?
So does that mean the most ethical thing to do is to have “reverse attractiveness discrimination?” No news channel will do that – but that’s not the point, should they do that? Or perhaps any of this shouldn’t matter?
It seems to me that the news channels should be allowed to do whatever they want as long as the materials are kept PG and there are no sexism and discrimination issues. The viewers should know what they are viewing and should be able to decide for themselves what to watch (that’s the point of channel surfing).
And who knows? Maybe these anchors will attract some people who usually don’t watch the news.