Surveys show parents want to control kids


The much-maligned television ratings system works just fine in the view of the overwhelming majority of parents, according to a number of polls flagged by TV Watch. There was also support for parental tools such as the V-chip.

Jim Dyke, Executive Director of TV Watch, commented, “There are two issues at the core of children’s television viewing — who should be making the decisions about what they see and how those rules are enforced. The authoritative force on the subject is parents who address children’s viewing based on age, values and culture unique to their family. Parents overwhelmingly want to be making these decisions rather than government and this recent poll is further affirmation that parents approve of the ratings designed to inform viewers about television content.”

TV Watch notes a Rasmussen poll which found that 60% of respondents found the ratings system to be effective, and even more – 67% — said they use those ratings when determining what their children would be allowed to watch.

A United States Conference of Catholic Bishops survey found that about 80% of parents use the ratings, and that many rate their effectiveness higher than the stated opinions of other parents they know.

Kaiser Family Foundation found in 2007 that 71% of the parents using the V-Chip found it to be effective.

RBR-TVBR observation: We find that watchdogs like Parents Television Council and Common Sense are at their best when they review entertainment content to help inform the decisions of parents on what would be good for their children. And there is always room to improve ratings systems, which are subjective by nature. We much prefer those approaches to anything that gets into First Amendment territory.