Asking The Right Questions: How to Devise Acceptable Television Standards

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Asking The Right Questions: How to Devise Acceptable Television Standards

By Dr. Ted Baehr

JUST IMAGINE:  The criteria for choosing and showing movies and television programs have disappeared in your country.  There are no criteria or standards governing the movies people of differing ages can see.  Moreover, there are no standards regulating what can be shown on TV.

The President has just announced the formation of a Bureau of Movie and Television Standards, which has the job of establishing a ratings system for movies and TV.  These TV standards will apply to entertainment and news programs.  You should try to be specific so that there will be no confusion.

  1. TELEVISION STANDARDS Choose the level that applies to each answer.

A          never to appear

B          appears under certain circumstances (give specific circumstances)

C          appears without restriction

Language

“Obscene language”- Define Obscene A B C
Any reference to sexual body parts A B C
Dirty jokes which do not use obscene language A B C
Statements supporting the violent overthrow of government A B C

Violent Scenes

People hitting or killing animals A B C
Adults hitting children A B C
Adults hitting other adults A B C
People using weapons to hurt each other A B C
Torture A B C
Murder A B C

 

Sexual Scenes

A man and a woman holding hands

  • Married
  • Unmarried
A B C
A man and woman kissing

  • Married
  • Unmarried
A B C
A man and a woman in bed

  • Married
  • Unmarried
A B C
A man nude A B C
A woman nude A B C
A man and a woman nude A B C
Homosexuality A B C

 

List five (5) programs you have seen on TV which cannot appear on your TV station.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

 

MOVIE  STANDARDS

Define the following terms:

Young Children – ages  (               )

Children – ages  (               )

Young people – ages  (            )

Adults – ages   (                  )

Movies that can be seen by everyone including children must not contain:

Movies that can be seen only by adults (not by young people or children) include the following types of content:

Editor’s Note: These articles are adapted from Dr. Ted Baehr’s THE CULTURE WISE FAMILY book. You can buy a copy from www.movieguide.org or on Amazon. Adapted from an activity in Logan, Television Awareness Training. 1979.

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