Star turn

May 18, 2007

For a feminist, it is serendipitous when an abject sexist proves himself an ignoramus as well. The recent quote by Sir Patrick Moore attributing the demise of tasteful television to the increase in female TV executives is a case in point. Television programming follows its viewers, and viewership is dominated by men. An analysis of women's and men's time use across countries recently published on the National Bureau of Economic Research website finds that men have more leisure time than women.

According to Michael Burda and his colleagues, men spend most of this extra time in front of the television. So, although I share Sir Patrick's lament regarding the downward trajectory in the quality of today's free-to-air programming, he might look to his own chromosome for the cause.

Lynn Prince Cooke
Kent University

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