Study: Kids Programming More Violent Than Prime-Time

Mar 2, 2006  •  Post A Comment

A study by the watchdog Parents Television Council released Thursday said that entertainment programming for children on major broadcast and cable TV networks includes an average of 7.86 violent incidents per hour-almost twice as much violence as prime-time network programming. In addition, the study said entertainment programming for children included 1.93 instances of “verbal aggression” per hour and 1.49 instances per hour of “disruptive, disrespectful or otherwise problematic attitudes and behaviors,” along with lesser amounts of sexual content (0.62 incidents per hour) and offensive language (0.56 incidents per hour).

The study looked at 443.5 hours of afternoon and Saturday morning entertainment programming for children ages 5 to 10 on eight networks-ABC, Fox, NBC, The WB, ABC Family, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel and Nickelodeon-during three weeks in the summer of 2005. “One might quickly dismiss violence in children’s programming as inconsequential, but what has changed is that the violence is ubiquitous, often sinister and in many cases frighteningly realistic,” said L. Brent Bozell, PTC president.

At a press conference in Washington to unveil the study, Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., said he thought the study helped make a case for quick Senate action on pending legislation to raise the cap on the Federal Communications Commission indecency fines-an authority the senator made clear that he would prefer to extend to violent content. “We’re going to have to go after the companies, and I think you are going to see that start to move,” Sen. Brownback said.