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Survey: Shows Like ‘Jersey Shore’ Give Girls Distorted View Of Reality

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(L to R) Sammi 'Sweetheart' Gianicola, Deena Nicole Cortese, Ronnie Ortiz Magro, Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino, Paul 'Pauly D' DelVecchio, Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi, Jenny 'JWoww' Farley and Vinny Guadagnino attend 'Jersey Shore' photocall at Hotel Brunelleschi on May 19, 2011 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Elisabetta Villa/Getty Images)

(L to R) Sammi ‘Sweetheart’ Gianicola, Deena Nicole Cortese, Ronnie Ortiz Magro, Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino, Paul ‘Pauly D’ DelVecchio, Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi, Jenny ‘JWoww’ Farley and Vinny Guadagnino attend ‘Jersey Shore’ photocall at Hotel Brunelleschi on May 19, 2011 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Elisabetta Villa/Getty Images)

Suzanne Le Mignot Suzanne Le Mignot
Suzanne Le Mignot serves as CBS 2 Chicago’s general assignment...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – The name “reality TV” implies it’s all real and true, though most of us know that’s hardly the case.

But a new survey shows most girls think shows like “Jersey Shore” and “The Hills” are mainly real. CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot explains how the Girl Scouts are trying to set the record straight.

Girls are bombarded with images from the luxurious life of Kim Kardashian on “Keeping up with the Kardashians” and the fighting and expletive-filled rants among the cast of “Jersey Shore.”

More than 1,100 Girl Scouts were surveyed nationwide about their thoughts on reality TV. Seventy-nine percent of girls watching reality TV think the incidents on the shows are completely real.

“One out of every four girls, believes she’s going to be famous,” says Maria Wynne, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. “That’s shocking. You grow up with the expectation that you’re going to be famous. For what? It doesn’t really matter.”

Teens say it’s sometimes hard to determine if the shows are “life-scripted” or real.

“The TV networks are here to entertain us. They’re not really focused on the outcome on young girls and what’s going into their minds and what they think is right,” high school senior Morgan Klovens says.

Thirty-seven percent of the girls thought being mean gets you respect. The same number thought lying helps you get what you want.

“This is such a great opportunity for parents and for kids to sit down together and have conversations about what they’re really seeing,” Wynne says.

The Girl Scouts hosted a live program streamed online Thursday called “Reality Check.” The goal was to share the realities of what girls experience each day. 

Thursday also was the start of a contest, getting girls nationwide to videotape their own lives to create a documentary, reinforcing that their own lives are more interesting than what they see on reality TV. Click here to learn more. The contest ends Nov. 30, with a winner selected in January.

One positive note about the research: Sixty-two percent of girls say reality TV has raised their awareness of social issues and causes.

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