Although the scientific data may be sketchy, many viewers do see a correlation between societal and television violence, according to an annual survey of TV viewing habits sponsored by The Family Channel and the Gallup organization.
According to results issued by The Family Channel, the Virginia Beach, Va.
-based cable network run by conservative Pat Robertson, 79% of respondents felt TV shows either “strongly contribute” or “somewhat contribute” to violence in society.
The poll found a discrepancy on the issue based on age, with 60% of adults age 50 and older saying TV strongly contributes to violence, compared to 22% in the 18- to 29-year-old bracket. Ironically, viewers over 50 watch more network TV than younger demographic groups.
For advocates of program labeling, the poll found that 63% of parents said they monitor what their children watch “frequently” or “occasionally,” with 82% of parents with children age 2-11 saying they pay attention to what their kids watch.
Although violence has been getting the most press lately, the poll found that 25% of those who complained about TV content find sex and sexual suggestiveness most objectionable, with 18% citing violence and 13% mentioning “foul language, swearing and cursing” as their primary concern.
In addition, more than 80% of both men and women agreed with the contention that women are “portrayed in a degrading manner” too often on television shows.
According to those conducting the survey, more than 1,000 adults 18 and older were polled at random nationwide during May. Concerns about content were up slightly compared to last year.