Since the early days of Radio, humans have always brought about an opinion on social concepts, ideas and of course fiction or entertainment, and others have said it was questionable. Now most would associate this in what it was in the early days of radio, just a chance to for a religious zealot to dominate the airwaves on the “Devils radio”. Later when Television came into the scene, those same religious zealots tried to commandeer the “Devils box” for their purpose as well. In both cases they were shot down, due to popular opinion as the public wanted to be entertained, and thought of going to church to be a Sunday affair, and any questionable content lacking morality would be subject to the FCC, so though begrudgingly, the problem was solved right? Not until 1954 and Fredrick Wertham a Psychologist, published his book, “Seduction of the Innocent” from which he attacked comic books, films and television broadcast. a school for violence,” and said “If I should meet an unruly youngster in a dark alley. I prefer it to be one who has not seen Bonnie and Clyde.” (Time Magazine, 1981) Comic books alone suffered the hardest as they were to be approved from the Comics Code Authority, or they would never see any form of mainstream publication. Though in the previous year there was a United States Senate subcommittee hearing on juvenile Delinquency, It was the book that Fredrick Wertham wrote that caused parents to worry.
And after Hollywood as well had to follow suit as the comics industry, things for some degree went into remission, not until 1969 did children and others even see a married couple sleep in the same bed, on the TV show, The Brady Bunch. The morality was to be kept to the highest levels, because if all forms of media weren’t under scrutiny from religious groups, it was suffering from parents groups. Things remained under a closed down morality until the 1980s, because at that point the adding’s of Cable television and the VCR. Cable might have been the worse of the two to reflect the moral issue, as with the VCR, one would have to leave their home, and venture into a public place to purchase pornography, however cable was a bit more of a contributor. Now with cable TV, you could now no longer have to that special theater, on the “rougher side of town.” You could just switch the box over and type in the pin code. (Kesler, 2010) But, that wasn’t the only thing parents had to worry about, because in 1981 the MTV network was launched, and now they had to worry about music artists’ expressing themselves in the visual content when parents were using their televisions as a babysitting service.
But later on when the Nintendo Entertainment system was launched in 1985, (1983 for Japan ) Parents thought the choice to purchase it for children a good one; after all they would be “off the streets” and at home. But then someone got an idea! If they could make characters that looked closer to actual human forms, then they in turn could make the characters fight and of course show blood. But then they also said let us form better gaming systems and make the graphic violence even more realistic. So then, the parents groups freaked out even harder than ever. And now comes the real kicker in the situation, because they often did polling, statistics and more charts and graphs than ever before when citing their arguments against those who feel fiction and entertainment fall on the hands of the 1st amendment. They often use the statistics in which they had polled juvenile delinquents who were caught after a crime. But when you review them, you realize that they do not use polling of juveniles of other backgrounds. Do children watch violence? Yes! Do children get an over barrage of suggestive sexual content? Yes! Do all children rape, murder and commit acts of violence? Nope.
If a child, watches television and sees something considered inappropriate, it is the parent’s fault, for not citing to the child what right is right and what wrong is wrong. One of the most successful movie-noir’s is horror films. We as parents have a very bad habit of allowing the Television to babysit our children, so because scary movies often cause an adrenal rush to humans, our children watch those films. And just because they do, doesn’t mean that every child who has seen Freddy Kruger or Jason Vorhees will grow up to be a serial killer. Statistically the past caught and known serial killers had very bad childhoods, in which the parents were abusive and in some cases just were not involved with their children’s lives. If a child listens to popular music, sees the music video and likes the artist. The child will attempt to follow fads set forth by the artist. If this means a young girl showing a navel, then even the fashion industry will reflect this. I have been clothes shopping for my 8 year old daughter, and picking clothes for her that does not reflect her appearing as a prostitute. Only recently in which we have seen cases of where parents have shown their lack of caring about our children can the ideas of realizing it is not the world that corrupts a child, but lousy parenting skills cause the corruption of youth do we recognize it. The “Jessica Slaughter” (Jessica Leonhardt) case in West Palm, Florida screams this attention. When you have a girl at the age of 11, who has gotten her parents to permit her additional body piercings outside of the ears, and one of the piercings was admitted by the parents to be a nipple, she is permitted to stay out late until 4 am, and date boys almost double her age. It is not a question of media influencing her as it is the parental authorities not influencing her. Sure, there will always be someone out there proclaiming “this cannot be good for children.” But when cases like Jessica Slaughter make the news, and our children hear of it, does this not count of negative influences? Most children want the same as we did at their age. One thing we all wanted was to be accepted and liked by our peers, so when they see a news story (and yes some children hear and see the news when the parents are watching as they do their homework) in which an 11 year old is able to become famous for behaving poorly, then that is worse than any Jason, Freddy, Madonna or Lady Gaga any day.