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'Law & Order' Viewers Process Sexual Consent Better than 'CSI' Viewers

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | October 26, 2015 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | October 26, 2015 |

Steven Lloyd Wilson’s and your mom’s affection of NCIS notwithstanding, people who watch Law & Order: SVU are just better than people who watch CSI and NCIS. That’s Internet fact.

Mariska Hargitay > Marg Helgenberger everyday of the week.

Turns out, however, that according to a study out of Washington State University published in the Journal of Health Communication that SVU fans are not only better people, but they also understand sexual consent better.

From the Guardian:

The study found that those who watched Law & Order were more likely to support their partner’s decision about whether to have sex, to say no to unwanted sexual activity, and were less likely to buy into rape myths.

While NCIS viewers were neutral in the study, CSI viewers are actually less likely to understand and seek consent.


Plots on series like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit focus on the issue of consent, the deconstruction of rape myths and show endings in which perpetrators are punished.

On the other hand, story lines within the CSI franchise often do not show punishment. CSI is intended to focus on the investigators and crime scenes. The victim is usually deceased and the plot tends to depend on an elusive and smart villain.

Moreover, SVU plotlines actually specifically discuss consent and the gray areas surrounding it, while CSI has more of a tendency to engage in victim blaming — women are more often assaulted after leaving a “window unlocked” or drink unattended.

Source: Guardian

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.