Parental Controls


Parental Television Control Research

  • American Academy of Pediatrics Statistics
    According to the American Academy of Pediatrics:
    • The average child watches 3 hours of TV a day -- 2 hours of quality programming is the maximum recommended by the Academy.
    • Active play time is needed to develop mental, physical and social skills.
    • Children who watch violence on TV are more likely to display aggressive behavior.
    • Young children don't know the difference between programs and commercials.

  • Sociological and Legal Background Information
    1. Television influences children's perception of the values and behavior that are common and acceptable in society.
    2. Television station operators, cable television system operators, and video programmers should follow practices in connection with video programming that take into consideration that television broadcast and cable programming has established a uniquely pervasive presence in the lives of American children.
    3. The average American child is exposed to 25 hours of television each week and some children are exposed to as much as 11 hours of television a day.
    4. Studies have shown that children exposed to violent video programming at a young age have a higher tendency for violent and aggressive behavior later in life than children not so exposed, and that children exposed to violent video programming are prone to assume that acts of violence are acceptable behavior.
    5. Children in the United States are, on average, exposed to an estimated 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of violence on television by the time the child completes elementary school.
    6. Studies indicate that children are affected by the pervasiveness and casual treatment of sexual material on television, eroding the ability of parents to develop responsible attitudes and behavior in their children.
    7. Parents express grave concern over violent and sexual video programming and strongly support technology that would give them greater control to block video programming in the home that they consider harmful to their children.
    8. There is a compelling governmental interest in empowering parents to limit the negative influences of video programming that is harmful to children.
    9. Providing parents with timely information about the nature of upcoming video programming and with the technological tools that allow them easily to block violent, sexual, or other programming that they believe harmful to their children is a nonintrusive and narrowly tailored means of achieving that compelling governmental interest.


    10. TV Viewing Perspectives and Habits of Children
      • Studies have been done by scientists, pediatricians, and child researchers in many countries over the last thirty years. These studies have tried to find out what it is about television violence that makes it such a big influence on the way kids act and behave.
      • Television violence causes aggressive behavior in children
      • A shocking study by television researchers Bandura and Ross was done to get at the truth about the effects of television violence on children. They split a group of kids into Groups A and B. Next, they showed Group A a videotape of a child acting very aggressively with a doll. For example, the girl in the video hit and kicked the doll. The children in Group B were shown a tape in which the same girl was having a tea party with the same doll. Later in the experiment, they put the Group A kids in a room alone with an exact copy of the doll used in the video. Children in Group A responded by hitting and kicking the doll and acted aggressively. The children in Group B were also put in a room alone with the doll and they played very nicely with it. There are similar studies that show how violence on television increases the likelihood that children who watch will demonstrate aggressive behavior towards others. Children imitate what they see on television.
      • 47% of violent television programs show the victim going unharmed, especially in cartoons.
      • The person in the cartoon or television show gets bowled over by another character and they get back up without being harmed. Children begin to believe that violence doesn’t really hurt others.
      • 73% of individuals who commit crimes in cartoons and children's shows go unpunished in violent scenes
      • Television shows that allow the character who commits the crime to receive no punishment, teaches children that it is alright to commit a crime because nothing will be done. Criminals and violent acts do not get punished.
      • Violence is a good way to solve problems
      • Television is a powerful teacher and if children are always viewing their favorite characters using violence or aggression to get what they want, children will do the same.
      • Television creates heroes out of the people who commit the crimes
      • Kids feel that if they copy the criminal they will be a hero, too. The hero that commits the crime is glamorized.
      • There is nothing heroic about violence and it is wrong to show kids that it is. Children begin to think of criminals as powerful role models. Television reduces the value of life.
      • If Wiley Coyote gets killed, the other cartoon characters don’t care, and they may even laugh. TV makes violence and even death seem funny and unreal. Children do not learn to respect life because violent television desensitizes them.
      • Children cannot tell the difference between real and unreal
      • Television is make-believe. The people in the stories are make-believe. They are actors and the story is not true. Young children are unable to realize that when a character attacks someone it is not real and should not be imitated. Think about it, many young children still believe in the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and Santa Claus.  How can children tell the difference between real violence and the make-believe violence done with a script for television?
      • Television should not be violent because it acts as an educator and has a responsibility to the children it educates. We should think about what we watch. I can’t change television programming myself, but together we can be a voice. If you are interested in letting the networks know how you feel about television violence, you can write to them and voice your opinion.


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Disclaimer: These pages are a fictitious site presented, for educational purposes only, in partial fulfillment of course requirements in COM 610, Advertising and Public Relations, as part of a class project at the Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor, Michigan.