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Television In The 90's

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430 words
Social Issues

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Today, around the globe, television is thought to affect the lives of children and young adults. Sex and violence on television are now major influences in the up bringing of young children. We must take charge of the situation, by regulating what we are feeding to the minds of our youth.
In the words of noted author E.B. White, " I believe television is going to be the test of the modern world, and that in this new opportunity to see beyond the range of our vision we shall discover either a new and unbearable disturbance of the general peace or a saving radiance in the sky. We shall stand or fall behind television." One of the most important and unrecognized influences on children's behavior in the 90's is television and media. The impact that television is having on children should not just concern parents and educators, but should also open the eyes of politicians, physicians, and public health advocates. (Gadcow) Every week young people, from age two and up, view an average of 16 to 17 hours of television.(Klein) With every two to three hours spent each day watching the tube, children experience many acts of violence and sex.
The National Television Violence Study reviewed three years, almost 10000 hours, of television programming. They found that 61% of the programming contained some kind of violent act, with children's shows being the most violent. Despite the publics concern with the violence, nothing in the media changed over the three year period. (Federman I,II,III) After researching ten years on the affects of violence, the fact is violence on television does lead to aggressive behavior by children and teens who watch the programs. (Smith)
Sexual references, innuendoes, and jokes which deal with abstinence, sexually transmitted diseases, birth control, or pregnancy, are viewed by teenagers thousands of times each year.(Harris) Prime time television shows more than eight sexual acts per hour.(Kunkel) The National Surveys of Children revealed that males who watch more television have the highest predominance of sex, but teens who watch television without their family present had a rate of three to six times higher.(Peterson) The United States continues to have the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the Western World, even though the teenagers here are not having more sex.(Spitz) Data suggests that the media represents plenty of effective sexual information for teenagers. The high pregnancy rate could be a result from inappropriate messages in the media, and a lack of information on television about abstinence and use of birth control. (Jones)
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