Violence Rating System Needed for TV Programs
While society recognizes the detrimental effects of general television on children, parents and other child advocacy groups don't feel as though there is an adequate rating system. Consequences of ineffective rating systems are that children's personalities are being negatively affected. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has made legislation to address this issue, but the children's advocacy community is still dissatisfied. This community includes The National PTA, the American Psychological Association, The Center for Educational Priorities and other child advocacy groups. Current discussions include the government and FCC's disregard for parent's feedback on current ratings systems, the violence chip's effectiveness as a simple solution and the current movie-based ratings system. Educational shows like Sesame Street significantly increase general school readiness skills, but the average American child is exposed to 25 hours of television each week and parents demand a system they feel accurately evaluates all television shows.
As part of this legislative process for Telecommunications Act of 1996, Public Law 104-104, statistical research on television's effects was done. For example in 1972, the Surgeon General reported that evidence shows a link between television violence and aggressive behavior (APA 1998). The American Psychological Association goes on to say that these lawmakers aren't responsive enough to feedback done by parent groups. They contend that the government isn't active in enforcing or defining the phrase "educational and informational"(CEP 1997). This results in the entertainment industry gaining profit by continuing to increase detrimental content in television programming. The government's most current television rating solution is the violence chip, also known as the V-chip. This device is a decoder box installed in televisions that rates television programs with the letters like TV-Y7, TV-PG, and TV-M. Children advocacy groups argue that the entertainment industry themselves puts these ratings on the programs and that these letters aren't descriptive enough for parents to understand what to expect in the content of a show.
Parents and other children's interest groups recognize that television programming is becoming increasingly violent, among other things, and this impacts society. Studies have measured television's effects and specifically how children respond to violence. According to research for a 1985 resolution passed by the American Psychological Association, there are three main effects of violence on children: children may become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others, children may be more fearful of the world around them and children may be more likely to behave in aggressive ways toward others(1998). The V-chip and its rating system has been proposed as the solution for parents to judge content of television shows. This current...