Fewer upset by TV sex and violence

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The number of viewers who believe there is too much sex, violence and swearing on TV has fallen sharply, according to new research by broadcasting regulator Ofcom.

More than half of viewers (55%) believed there was excessive violence five years ago, but that figure has now fallen to 35%.

The figure for those who think there is too much sex has fallen from 35% to 26% over the same period, while swearing is a concern for 35%, down from 53%.

The study also found awareness of the TV watershed, designed to protect children from unsuitable scenes before 9pm, continues to be high.

It found 94% of viewers knew of the watershed - established 50 years ago this month - which is up from 91% when comparable research was conducted five years earlier. The study also found 78% thought it was at about the right time, a rise from the previous 70%.

Ofcom said a change in attitudes among older viewers is one of the reasons for the figures for sex, violence and swearing dropping markedly.

The regulator acknowledged that on-demand and catch-up viewing will prove a "new challenge" in terms of protecting children using the watershed concept, although it pointed out that such services account for only 2.5% of viewing at present.

Tony Close, director of standards at Ofcom, said: "Fifty years on, the TV watershed remains a vital means of protecting viewers. We take robust enforcement action when the rules are broken, which reflects the importance we place on protecting children."

Claudio Pollack, director of Ofcom's consumer and content group, said: "Ofcom recognises that the growth of on-demand TV is posing new challenges for parents and regulators. We're working on ways to help ensure that the protections viewers expect from the watershed apply beyond broadcast TV."

Comments (4)

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4:09pm Thu 3 Jul 14

jumperr says...

What was unacceptable has become the norm because nothing was ever done about, folk have give up because nothing gets done
What was unacceptable has become the norm because nothing was ever done about, folk have give up because nothing gets done jumperr
  • Score: 1

4:24pm Thu 3 Jul 14

sussexram40 says...

It's sad that people have to accept foul language and explicit sex on TV shows beamed into their homes. Totally unneccessary.
I always thought there was some sort of offence regarding using foul and abusive language. Seems not. Assume I could walk down the street using 4 letter words at will and that's OK now.
Same with sex. If it's OK to beam nudity and sex into millions of peoples homes on TV shows how can it be an offence for people to behave in the same way in a street or park when a mere handful will see it?
It's sad that people have to accept foul language and explicit sex on TV shows beamed into their homes. Totally unneccessary. I always thought there was some sort of offence regarding using foul and abusive language. Seems not. Assume I could walk down the street using 4 letter words at will and that's OK now. Same with sex. If it's OK to beam nudity and sex into millions of peoples homes on TV shows how can it be an offence for people to behave in the same way in a street or park when a mere handful will see it? sussexram40
  • Score: -1

8:15pm Thu 3 Jul 14

Almeda11 says...

sussexram40 wrote:
It's sad that people have to accept foul language and explicit sex on TV shows beamed into their homes. Totally unneccessary.
I always thought there was some sort of offence regarding using foul and abusive language. Seems not. Assume I could walk down the street using 4 letter words at will and that's OK now.
Same with sex. If it's OK to beam nudity and sex into millions of peoples homes on TV shows how can it be an offence for people to behave in the same way in a street or park when a mere handful will see it?
Nobody has to be subjected to anything on the tv that they don`t like, simply swith it off, problem solved.
Re; sex, well obviously sex on tv is different to sex in a park, which WOULD be an offence if people saw it and reported it, and quite rightly so, nobody wants their children to stumble across scenes like that, or see it themselves.
[quote][p][bold]sussexram40[/bold] wrote: It's sad that people have to accept foul language and explicit sex on TV shows beamed into their homes. Totally unneccessary. I always thought there was some sort of offence regarding using foul and abusive language. Seems not. Assume I could walk down the street using 4 letter words at will and that's OK now. Same with sex. If it's OK to beam nudity and sex into millions of peoples homes on TV shows how can it be an offence for people to behave in the same way in a street or park when a mere handful will see it?[/p][/quote]Nobody has to be subjected to anything on the tv that they don`t like, simply swith it off, problem solved. Re; sex, well obviously sex on tv is different to sex in a park, which WOULD be an offence if people saw it and reported it, and quite rightly so, nobody wants their children to stumble across scenes like that, or see it themselves. Almeda11
  • Score: 1

9:03pm Thu 3 Jul 14

Almeda11 says...

l think the reason why fewr people are upset by tv sex and violence is simply because they`ve been exposed to it again and again, so they get acclimatised to it.
That, and the 24 hours news channels, with vivid pictures of wars, shootings, stabbings, child abuse, murders ect, ect, we are so used to seeing and hearing it that nothing surprises or even shocks us anymore.

This is a media orientated and digital world we are embroiled in, to a greater or lesser extent, every little thing is reported, analysed, discussed and picked to pieces as never before.

TOO MUCH information about everything all the time is not good and not healthy, which is why l only listen in on the news 2x`s daily, and that`s enough for me.
l think the reason why fewr people are upset by tv sex and violence is simply because they`ve been exposed to it again and again, so they get acclimatised to it. That, and the 24 hours news channels, with vivid pictures of wars, shootings, stabbings, child abuse, murders ect, ect, we are so used to seeing and hearing it that nothing surprises or even shocks us anymore. This is a media orientated and digital world we are embroiled in, to a greater or lesser extent, every little thing is reported, analysed, discussed and picked to pieces as never before. TOO MUCH information about everything all the time is not good and not healthy, which is why l only listen in on the news 2x`s daily, and that`s enough for me. Almeda11
  • Score: 1
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