Thursday, August 18, 2011

Are Children Being Exposed to Sex and Profanity on Nick, Disney and Cartoon Network?

Cartoons frequently watched by children between the ages of 12 and 17 are riddled with adult content, including the use of profanity and strong sexual themes, according to a recent study by the Parents Television Council.

The networks used in the study include Cartoon Network, Disney Channel and Nick at Nite, since they air the highest rated primetime animated series for teens and pre-teens, according to Nielsen data.

“Nielsen data told us where children ages 12-17 are watching animated programming on basic cable. PTC analysts followed the Nielsen data in order to see exactly what type of material kids are consuming,” said PTC President Tim Winter in a press release. “The findings of this report should be vexing for every parent.”

Winter describes how the networks use the term “adult” to market their shows, which he feels is a perfect description of the nature of the programming’s content.

“We’re not talking about cartoon characters slipping on banana peels and ramming into doors. Our data demonstrates that today’s norm is profanity-laden storylines involving everything from rape and cocaine to STDs and crystal meth,” said Winter.

He goes on to state that this type of content is not just included in the most popular cartoons, but has invaded most of animated programming.

Winter feels parents are aware that animation blocks like Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim contain adult content, but feels they have no clue on how high the cartoon’s level of raunchiness can be.

Alarmingly, Adult Swim starts at 9 p.m., moved up two hours from its former 11 p.m. slot, marketing the programming to a larger audience, including some children.

The network also fails to issue the proper warnings to children and parents, according to Winter.


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