Favorite Television Programs
of Latin American children

Today, most children in Latin America have access to television and they are fortunate in having more and more viewing choices, either through cable/satellite or the expansion of broadcast television channels.  Just because the children are offered more choices does not mean that they have to take them up.  So, in spite of all these choices, what are the children's favorite television programs?

We will now refer to some data obtained in the Pan Latin American Kids Study, which was conducted in 18 Latin American countries among children between the ages of 7 and 11 years old.  During this survey, the children were shown a list of television program types and asked to indicate which ones are their favorites (note: they are permitted to select as many as they like).  The chart below shows the survey results.  Almost universally, Latin American children like cartoons.   

In previous notes, we have recorded how adult men and women differ in their television program choices.  The most obvious differences would be women favoring telenovelas and men favoring sports.  Such preferences for television programs are obviously not genetically determined behavior, but are acquired by social learning.

For the information above, we display the preferences separately by gender in the scatterplot below.  The 45-degree line represents the situation in which boys and girls have the same level of preferences for a program type; anything below this line is favored more by boys and anything above that line is favored more by girls.  Even at ages 7 to 11 years, the female-telenovelas and male-sports tendencies are highly visible already.  To the extent that these types of television programs engender and propagate notions of relationships between power and gender, such indoctrination takes place at a very early age.

Related Zona Latina articles on television viewing

(posted by Roland Soong, 3/17/2001)

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