The most obvious form of regulation in the home is the code of classification we see every day on our television screens. These ratings, which range from G (general audience) to R18+ are set in place to determine if what you’re watching is suitable for the audience or yourself.
As a child, only one of my parents managed to implement a system in which what I watched determined if it were deemed suitable or not by the government, which meant that from a very early age, I was already learning that rules only applied when certain people weren’t looking (thanks mum).
These classifications are only a code of conduct, and while not enforced legally are rated upon a system that takes many different factors into account. These are things such as nudity, violence, drugs, language and sexual content, all of which are not seen as suitable for children and in some cases only for teenagers over the age of 15 (MA). Each rating has it’s own set of rules and regulations and even it’s own on-air time slot. For example G is for a general audience, so is deemed appropriate for everybody and therefore is available for viewing at any time, R18+ however is restricted and is limited to adult “pay per view”.
The most common social concern regarding these regulations is the argument that television corrupts or alters children socially, creating an atmosphere in which they are forced to mature ahead of time or recreate acts of violence they may be subjected to. Numerous studies have been done on these concerns, and in a 1982 report by the American Psychological Association the research found that there were three major effects of television on children (Cmu.edu, 1999);
|Children may become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others|
|Children may be more fearful of the world around them|
| Children may be more likely to behave in aggressive or harmful ways toward others.|
The rules and regulations apply to all exhibitions of content, including home viewing. This is more likely to affect children as it’s the most common space for a television to be in use, and is also public to the members of the viewing household. In situations where there may be more than one child of different ages, these classifications become profound by determining the absence of either child depending on their age, directly relating the regulations back to the space in which they are previewed.
Cmu.edu 1999, Violence on Television: What do Children Learn? What Can Parents Do?, viewed on 28 September 2014, <http://www.cmu.edu/CSR/case_studies/tv_violence.html>