Jessica Kent kent1 English 1113 Sex, Drugs, And Violence On American Television Not very many parents would think that the television set would be their worst enemy located in there very own living room. More than seventy-five percent of our American television shows contain sexual and violent content, as well as drug and alcohol use. MTV, TLC, and TBS are some of the most popular channels that contain sex, drugs, and violence. Adolecents and children of many ages watch and learn from these television programs.
Pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, addictions to drugs and alcohol, domestic abuse, and violent crimes have gained popularity on our television shows and in reality. The Western Journal of Medicine states that on the average, teenage viewers see upwards of 143 incidents of sexual behavior on prime time television a week. This includes movies, television series, music videos, and advertisements, all without any warnings concerning teenage pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. The program “Sixteen And Pregnant” on MTV, glorifies teenage girls participating in sex and becoming pregnant with or without a father.
In some cases, these girls have no family involvment or support whatsoever. Other shows, such as “90210” and “Gossip Girls”, target high school age children and younger generations with extreme sexual content. The average viewer age for these television shows is from eleven to seventeen. At this age, adolescents are developing sexual behaviors and attitudes, their actions and thoughts are easily influenced and the consequences of their actions are not thought out. They make decisions based on feelings, and this can lead to an unplanned pregnancy, a sexually transmitted disease, or both. ent2 There are not many shows that do not have some form of drug or alcohol use in the story line. “Weeds” on MTV is about a mother who sells marijuana to support her family. All the crime scene movies have some form of drug or alcohol use. Most often, the drug dealer has all the power and money, even though he is breaking the law. There are television shows like “Intervention” and “Celebrity Rehab” that show the end result of “trying” drugs or alcohol, but these shows are not the ones that target the younger generation. Continual exposure to the glamorization of drugs and alcohol by ur young people make them more curious about the effects. This youthful curiosity can lead to an early addiction which may follow them all of their lives. Drugs and alcohol are the “stepping stones” to sexual explicity and violence as well. Violence can be seen at any time on any channel including the Cartoon Network. Our children are being exposed to more violence on television than any other activity. Children are exposed to around 20 acts of violence on television per hour. Many cartoons present violence to young people. “Family Guy” is very violent. Children who watch alot of violent television tend to have behavior and attitudes.
Without parental guidance, they may take the message from violent cartoons that aggression works and violence wins. Continued exposure may result in higher crime rates including more assaults and domestic violence. Sex, drugs, and violence on American television is never going to stop. With the constant repetition and exposure our children are being programmed to be more sexually active, quicker to try drugs and alcohol, and more violent. Due to this fact, there should be more supervision and parental controls should be installed and used properly to insure the safety of our children and family in our homes.