ERIC Number: ED409083
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Sex, Kids and the Family Hour: A Three-Part Study of Sexual Content on Television. A Special Report from Children Now and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Kaiser Foundation, Oakland, CA.; Children Now, Oakland, CA.
This series of studies focused on the content of television programming about sexual activity and sexual relationships, examining what messages are communicated in the so-called "family hour," the first hour of prime time broadcast television (8-9 p.m. in most areas of the country). First, a content analysis documented the nature of sexual messages airing during this period. Second, a series of focus groups with children age 8 to 13 recorded their responses to family hour programs containing sexual content; and third, a national survey gathered parental opinion about the family hour and the issue of sex on TV. Key findings from the content analysis are: (1) television programs broadcast during the family hour contain a significant amount of sexual content, far more than was broadcast during the previous two decades; (2) most of the sexual behavior is relatively modest, with notable exceptions; and (3) a few shows do a good job of emphasizing the risks and responsibilities of sexual activity. Key findings from the focus groups are: (1) most of the older children, and at least some of the youngest, understood the sexual content, even the jokes and innuendoes about sex; (2) most of the children understood and enjoyed the programs with clear, positive messages; and (3) shows with mixed messages left children confused. Finally, key findings from the public opinion survey are: (1) the amount of sexual content on TV worries parents as much as, if not more than, violent content; (2) children often watch TV alone, and sometimes watch shows that their parents do not know about; and (3) parents give TV some credit for presenting sexual issues responsibly. (EV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Kaiser Foundation, Oakland, CA.; Children Now, Oakland, CA.