The Negative Influence of Television on Children

2095 WordsAug 10, 20069 Pages
For decades there has been debate as to how television media affects our children. Many parents have been concerned since the beginning of television. Through extensive research over the last few decades, television has been thought to desensitize and have detrimental effects on our children, which inhibits them from developing feelings of security, compassion, diplomacy, and discernment. Television watching also promotes violence, unsafe sexual practices, and eating disorders in children. According to Muscari, the average American child spends approximately 28 hours per week watching television. By the time a child reaches the age of 18 they will have seen 16,000 murders and 200,000 other acts of violence. American media is the most…show more content…
This is when paid cable channels became available, bringing rated X movies to the home, as well as Fox Broadcasting "targeting a younger audience with raunchy shows like Married ... with Children" (Steyer 45-46). Over time regulations have change, with each new inception, allowing more 'freedom' at the expense of our children. Television continues to use the marketability of sex sells. Programming aimed at teen audiences, such as Charmed, The War at Home, and Girlfriends are loaded with sexual content. There are scenes that include anything from bed swapping, to bathroom stall coupling, to talk of masturbation. It is also not just teens that are watching these shows. Adult shows, where sexual content is skyrocketing, makes up 70 percent of most children over the age of ten's television (Steyer 46-47). Often when teenagers are first becoming interested in sex they rarely get information from their parents. It is all too common that they receive these messages from friends, television and other forms of media. Often they are tuned into prime time television, which 80% of the programs contain sexual content. Frequently, characters are shown having spur-of-the-moment sex, and are "rarely shown taking steps to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases" (Beck 535). Time and again, television media contributes to family violence and children perceive that violence and abuse is not only the norm, but acceptable within

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