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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Protect our children: Censorship is not a bad word

Regarding the rampant profanity, obscenity and violence assaulting children on network television, a USA Today editorial ("Calloff the FCC decency police") naively suggests "there are better ways to protect children than empowering government censors."
When it comes to protecting our children, most parents do not consider "censorship" a bad word. Parents cannot conceivably control every image and idea flashed from the public airwaves into our children's minds.
We the people own the airwaves. Agencies directed by our elected representatives govern how networks may use those public airwaves, enforcing standards that reflect consensus public and community values. Most parents don't want their six-year-old to see graphic sexual encounters or watch bloody severed heads bounce down steps.
Rather than stopping damaging TV content before it infiltrates our homes, USA Today would instead rely on often perplexing v-chip filtering technology. But v-chip technology is only installed in TVs with screens above 13 inches, leaving the smaller sets in many children's bedrooms unprotected.
Studies show that more than 75% of prime-time TV programs present sexual material.[1] Not surprisingly, research also reveals that teenagers with bedroom TVs are more likely to engage in sexual activity.[2]
We parents need every helping hand we can find to guide our children toward decency, civility and moral character. Let the FCC do its job of managing the people's airwaves to uphold the people's values.

[1] Sexuality, Contraception, and the Media, PEDIATRICS, Vol. 126 No. 3 at 576-77.
[2] Policy Statement, American Academy of Pediatrics, Sexuality, Contraception, and the Media, PEDIATRICS, Vol. 126, No. 3 (Sept. 2010) at 579.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree that I do not want my children exposed to graphic TV content. This is particularly troubling to me when watching 'family' programming or sports, and then the commercials are filthy. In fact advertisements - TV, print, and billboards - are where I think the guidelines should be a lot tighters. But I must say parents should not be allowing their children to have TVs in their bedrooms if they care about what their children are viewing. Also, I'd say teens with TVs in their bedrooms have more sex not because of the programming, but because the TV gives them an excuse to invite their girlfriend/boyfriend into their bedroom and spend extended amounts of time there.