Concerned Parents  Report © is dedicated to reporting information and imparting knowledge to parents so they can empower their children to make the healthiest choice for their reproductive health - living a  chaste lifestyle

 
Summary: Sexual Content on TV Confusing Kids

There is an abundance of sexual content on television shows that air during the early evening hours, often termed the "family hour," a time that is particularly popular with younger children. Children appear to be picking up the sexual information presented to them on television-taking away confused messages when programs send mixed signals and clearer messages when shows offer a more straightforward perspective.

  • According to an article written by Children Now, a recent study revealed that there is an abundance of sexual content on television shows that air during the early evening hours, often termed the “family hour,” a time that is particularly popular with younger children. The study also indicates that while some programs mention the risks and responsibilities of sexual activity, most of the sexual content on television does not include any emphasis on these themes. Although more research needs to be done to understand how children are affected by the sexual content on television, the focus groups in this study indicate that children appear to be picking up the sexual information presented to them on television-taking away confused messages when programs send mixed signals and clearer messages when shows offer a more straightforward perspective. Children appear to appreciate the positive, responsible messages some shows offer them. With regard to parents, both the focus groups and the surveys indicate that the vast majority are deeply concerned about the amount of sexual content on television, particularly during the family hour. Many are especially concerned that they cannot always monitor their children’s viewing as closely as they feel they should, particularly during the early evening hours. On the other hand, many parents see a role for television as a communicator of messages about sexual risks and responsibilities and some report having experienced the positive benefits of having television programs help them raise important issues about sex with their children.1

1Children & the Media: Sex, Kids and the Family Hour (A Three-Part Study of Sexual Content on TV), Children Now, 2003, pp. 1-13.

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