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Should Sex and Violence Be Restricted on Television?


It is impossible to speak about some negative sides of the influence of television without understanding the role of its impact on personality. Of course, the most considerable influence is made on people who are young or who are psychologically unstable. It is impossible to forbid watching TV for such people, but there is one thing that can be done – restriction of sex and violence on TV.

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We are living in the XX century space occupied by media, which makes our new environment, the reality of modern culture. Mass Communication, New Technologies – (multimedia, audio-visual communication) interfered into all spheres of life. Media have become the main means of production of modern culture, not just the transmission mechanism. The media began to identify many of the parameters of society, industry, and politics. There is a process of uniting a network of information technology.

The personal distinction between real and unreal

Information bum, which became the reality of the life of every society, has led, on the one hand, to the inclusion of any society into the global information space, which is an essential component of modern civilization, and on the other – has become one of the most important factors in shaping the personality characteristics of young people among which a considerable role is played by their inner ideas and values. Since the first years of life, we fall into the information field created by a network of mass communications.

Mass Media includes all types of media operating in a global cultural space, in the information field, which was established with the help of new technologies and combining socio-cultural values of its diverse components. This raises the problem of the mutual information environment (in particular TV as its main component) and the structure of value orientations of youth as a social agent. This attitude of the environment and the subject is controversial, because of the complicated structure of its components.

Thus, on the one hand, the commercialization of TV culture leads to the predominance of violence, sex, and advertising. On the other hand, there are a lot of educational programs, videos, computer games, and programs that assist in the education, nurturing, and expanding horizons, and opening up entirely new horizons of knowledge.

TV culture represents a complicated structure that includes various forms of television and video (antenna, cable and satellite TV, movies, video games, etc.), as well as certain kinds of contemporary art, based on the use of television technology (TV-Art ). All forms of TV culture play an important role in the socialization and formation of values and structures of the youth. The different areas of the life of young people – school and vocational training system, youth centers and hostels, work and leisure field – outside the field of influence of TV-culture, it becomes a central agent of socialization and a powerful factor in shaping values.

Different theoretical approaches that form a set of subjects generally called in modern literature “media theory” represent one of the landmark complex systems in which we perceive and understand the world, as well as the constantly changing junction of the signal systems. Television, like cinema, painting, and other semiotic systems constitute the representations of the world, based on a complex set of conditions. According to J. Caller, this point is fundamental: “If we want to understand our social and cultural world, we must think not of independent objects, but on the symbolic structures of relations, which, giving meaning to objects and actions create the human universe” (Culler, 1981, p25).

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Modern researchers consider television not only as a self-sufficient object but as the site of crossing dissimilar significant practices. An American researcher Robert Allen wrote, “We see television not as isolated pieces, but as a point in time filled with varied texts which are carefully joined together, so that they flow into each other almost imperceptibly” (Allen, 1996, p3).

The influence of television on many aspects of everyday life, in particular the formation of tastes and perceptions, is largely determined by the fact that unlike other types of TV culture it is a part of the home environment, (this is much closer to radio than the movie). This fact is differently evaluated in various research positions. The most powerful effect of television, except the actual content is the very fact of its existence; it’s always accessible in every home, its ability to bring hundreds of millions of citizens to a passive audience for most of their lives.

Television minimizes personal interactions within the family and community. One source of information can transfer the images directly to the point of view of millions of minds, making it difficult for people to differentiate between real and unreal, pacifying and mobilizing them limiting their perception and their imagination and critical judgments, reducing taste to a reasonable public and private discourse (Parenti, 1992, p11 – 12). According to J.Meyrowitz, commercial television “gives rise to novelty to survive. Without strange, new, unknown the audience would be reduced greatly. That is why television shows the things which remain hidden or little-known in other structures” (Meyrowitz, 1985, p222).

Violence on TV

That gap between generations and disorientation, breaking the usual social bonds leads to the transformation of the image of violence and sex as the most effective tools in the social way to achieve real-life goals. In developed Western countries, the theme of violence has long been a matter of serious concern, whether by institutions of the state and the general public.

There are widely known facts of the media acts of aggression, violence, and cruelty. Thus, in the animated film, which is shown in the morning on U.S. television, children see violence every two minutes. By the end of school, young Americans have witnessed an average of 18 thousand television murders. (Jasinski, 2001,p123)

Crime Chronicle is one of the leaders in the subject of TV culture. It is in the second place after advertising. There is a continuous displaying or description of corpses, shootings, robberies, etc., it is already ceased to appear as something extraordinary, and is perceived as a spectacle, or an absorbing reading. ( Miedzian, 1993, p67)

The prolonged exposure of violence on television can lead to:

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  1. an increase in aggressive behavior,
  2. reduce the constraint on aggression,
  3. blunting of sensitivity to the aggression,
  4. forming the image of social reality from which many of these actions are based.

Sex on TV

One of the major challenges of modern society is the protection of public morals and the health of citizens, especially minors, through the monitoring and regulation of products of a sexual nature. Such protection is an essential element of the system of legal regulation of the media in Europe and the United States. The analysis shows that public and political elites in these countries strongly believe in the need to adopt and implement the relevant legislative acts. (Owen, 1999, p55)

It should be noted that the programs of sexual content are dangerous for children who are still forming their ideas and values. They can not find the right orientation for their values. There are cases of the wrong formation of sexual images. In addition, there is a temptation to get a sexual experience earlier than it should be.


In conclusion, it should be said that watching television is dangerous for family communication because the members of the family do not interact closely. In addition, by watching the scenes of violence and sex on TV people become more outside. So, that is why Sex and violent scenes should be restricted to save the healthy ideals and values of every society.

With all the freedom of market forces, which largely determine the development of mass media an important role is played by state control, which should restrain inordinate media commercialization. Media Industry in the late XX and early XXI century is characterized by the principle of “regulated pluralism”, i.e. a broad institutional network to ensure the existence of multiple independent media institutions in the fields of mass communication (Thomson, 1990, p87).

Accordingly, some economic measures in the field of media should be made by the government. Nowadays young people, who live in an era of new technologies – are not only consumers, making choices among objects of consumption, but also members of the political, social, and cultural community in which the formation of opinions and value structures is directly dependent on the media. Therefore there is a need in a clear position of the government as to control the media and communications, as well as for optimal use of their potential for educating the younger generation fully capable to meet the challenges of the future.

Works cited

Allen R.C. Talking About Television. N.Y. 1996.

Culler J. The Pursuit of Signs: Semiotics, Literature and Deconstruction. L., 1981.

Jasinski Jana L., Theoretical Explanations for Violence against Women, in Sourcebook on Violence Against Women Claire M. Renzetti et al. eds., 2001.

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Meyrowitz J. No Sense of Place: The Impact of Elerctronoc Media on Behavior. N. Y.: Oxford, UP, 1985.

Miedzian Myriam. How Rape is Encouraged in American Boys, in Transforming a Rape Culture Emilie Buchwald et al. eds., 1993.

Owen D. Jones, Sex, Culture, and the Biology of Rape: Toward Explanation and Prevention, 1999.

Parenti M. Make-Believe Media: The Politics of Entertainment& N. Y.: St. Martin’s, 1992.

Thomson J.B. Ideology and Modern Culture. Cambridge, 1990.

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