Poll: Parents Favor Violence Regs


As expected, a new Kaiser Family Foundation survey released Thursday found that relatively few parents -- less than one in five (17%) -- were "very" concerned about the impact of the Janet Jackson Super Bowl incident.

"What concerns parents most is not isolated incidents, but the sex and violence they believe their kids are exposed to every day in the shows they regularly watch," said the foundation's Vicky Rideout.

That Jackson finding comes a day after the FCC levied its record $550,000 fine against CBS's owned TV stations over the incident, with some commissioners decrying the partial nudity and arguing the penalty should have been bigger and applied to more stations.

Jackson may not be a big deal, but a majority of parents polled say they are "very" concerned about the amount of sex (60% very concerned) and violence (53%) their kids are exposed to on TV, and almost two thirds (63%) favor some kind of regulation of sex and violence during early evening hours when kids are most likely to be in the audience.

By contrast, a majority of the respondents opposed regulating "junk food" ads on children's TV (56% opposed, 37% favored), though 49% conceded that their kids food choices and eating habits are influenced "a lot" by food ads on TV.

The parents may have been against ad restrictions, but they were for more pro-active messages, with 59% saying TV stations should be required to air one minute's worth of  PSA's per hour in prime.

TV was by far the medium of most concern to parents (34% rated it highest), followed by the Internet (16%); movies (10%), music (7%); and video games (5%).

Half of the parents polled say they have used the TV ratings system to help guide their program choices for children--Over half say the rating should be more prominent--but only 15% have used the V-chip, though that figure has more than doubled since 2001.

The survey was a random telephone poll of 1,001 parents of kids ages 2-17. It was conducted between July 12 and Aug. 3 and has a  margin of error of 3.6%.