US TV shows under spotlight

| August 23, 2016

Parents in the US should take industry television ratings with a grain of salt since they don’t always reflect the true amount of violence, smoking and drinking depicted in shows, according to a story by Dennis Thompson for HealthDay citing the results of new study.

Shows approved for children aged seven years and older (TV-Y7) contained nearly as much violence as shows intended for adults only, said lead researcher Joy Gabrielli, who is a clinical child psychologist at Dartmouth College’s Geisel School of Medicine in Hanover, New Hampshire.

In addition, shows rated for preteens and teenagers displayed just as much smoking and drinking as adult-rated shows, according to the study.

“When you think about who’s going to be watching shows rated TV-PG and TV-14, it’s going to be preteens and early adolescents,” Gabrielli said. “Those are the folks who we worry about most when it comes to initiation of substance use behavior.”

Only sex and gory violence appeared to be appropriately reflected in the ratings from the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board, the industry-supported group charged with reviewing and rating television shows, Gabrielli said.

“Our paper is meant to be a cautionary tale to parents about the ratings,” she said.

The monitoring board responded to the study by citing a recent nationwide survey that showed most parents were aware of and understand the ratings system.

“The survey results showed that the ratings are viewed favorably by nearly four out of five parents and 77 percent of parents use the ratings system, an increase from similar studies conducted in 2014 and 2011,” said Missi Tessier, spokeswoman for the board’s executive secretariat. “Additionally, some 96 percent of parents polled said they were satisfied with the accuracy of the parental ratings for shows on television.”

Thompson’s story is at: https://consumer.healthday.com/general-health-information-16/media-health-news-760/tv-ratings-for-parents-let-violence-drinking-slip-through-714072.html.

Category: Breaking News

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