Here's something you hopefully already know: CSI: Miami is not actually a very reliable representation of reality. No, and it's not just because the Miami-set drama is actually filmed in Southern California.
When researchers compared the shows to the CDC data, they discovered the strongest misrepresentations were related to alcohol use, relationships, and race among perpetrators and victims. Previous studies of actual statistics have shown that both perpetrator and victim were often under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs when the crime occurred, differing from what the shows portrayed. Also, CSI and CSI: Miami were more likely to have described the victim and the attacker as Caucasian, which is misrepresentative. Finally, according to the CDC data, homicide victims typically knew their assailant; however, the television series were more likely to have portrayed the perpetrator as a stranger. All of these findings were significantly different when compared to the data.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
"If we believe that there is a lack of association with alcohol, that strangers are more likely to attack, and that homicide doesn't represent particular groups of people, it's difficult to create public health interventions that the general public supports," says Dr. Timothy Lineberry. You can watch him break it down in a video after the jump.