Editorial–Television: Making children grow up faster than they should

By Editorial Board
February 8, 2001

Sex Sells.” This quote pretty much sums up the entertainment world’s answer to why there is so much sexual content on television.

During the `80s, children could sit in front of the television and watch a program that dealt with issues that they could relate to. Full House dealth with sibling rivalry, ALF had a lovable alien who was always getting into trouble and Saved by the Bell dealt with high school mischief. Among the more teenage shows was Just the Ten of Us who addressed teen sex. Step by Step offered more sibling rivalry and Silver Spoons, Mr. Belvedere and Webster often offered insights into the serious problems that a child or teenage could face, in a tasteful manner. These shows never really made a child feel uncomfortable while watching a show with their mom and dad, yet they sometimes insinuated the effects of sex.

Today, a younger viewer is pretty much hit in the face everytime they turn on the television with sex. T.G.I.F., which used to air on ABC, has been eliminated by Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and other adult shows. The WB now airs Sabrina the Teenage Witch: The College Years which is basically as exciting as Saved by the Bell: The College Years. Such shows as Popular, which are overdramatizations of a teenager’s life, often talk about such subjects as bulemia, gluttony, cancer and sex. These topics, while educating some, are just informing some young children too early about subjects they should not be concerned with. Some kids might have cable and are therefore lucky enough to have Nickelodeon. However, what thirteen-year-old teenager wants to watch a cartoon about babies and a show about a girl who acts out random skits with three other co-hosts?

People often question the fact that children are growing up too soon. They really don’t have a choice these days. The teen drama Dawson’s Creek is too deep and melodramatic for a college student to relate to while shows like Friends and Will and Grace offer the daily routines of single thirty-somethings.

Television is not the only form of entertainment for a child but some kids look to it for comfort. Latchkey kids and those children who are home alone often seek the enjoyment of television to keep them company. It is a shame that the youth of America has nothing to talk about but who got raped on The Practice and who had sex with whose boyfriend on Temptation Island.

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Editorial Board

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