ERIC Number: ED409082
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Dec-11
Reference Count: N/A
The Family Hour Focus Groups: Children's Responses to Sexual Content on TV and Their Parents' Reactions.
Kaiser Foundation, Oakland, CA.; Children Now, Oakland, CA.
With regard to sexual content, an argument is often made that sexual jokes, innuendoes, and behavior on television "go over kids' heads." To address this issue, focus groups were conducted with children between the ages of 8 and 13. Children viewed a tape of a selection of clips containing sexual content from programs aired in 1996 during the family hour. The children were separated by gender and age groups. In some instances, parents watched their child's focus group and participated in a focus group of their own. Results showed that: (1) children generally understood sexual content in the show excerpts; (2) they understood and said they liked best the shows that communicated clear, prosocial messages about sexual issues; (3) shows with mixed messages about sexual issues often left the children with confused messages themselves; (4) children took away messages about sex even from shows which were not purposely projecting messages about sexual behaviors, but which included sexual references or depictions; (5) children bring different understandings and attitudes about sexual issues to their viewing which may cause different interpretations; (6) most of the children, especially the younger ones, were made most obviously uncomfortable with the visual portrayals of sexual scenes; (7) some parents were unaware of how much sexual content there was on television their children watched, and how much their children understood; (8) parents expressed concern about some of the sexual messages on television (9) some parents say television helps them broach important issues, like sex, with their children; and (10) parents say they realize that they need to find out more about what their children are watching, and make sure they are talking with them about what they see on television. (EV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Kaiser Foundation, Oakland, CA.; Children Now, Oakland, CA.