Entertainment through traditional media and new generation technology like the internet has become an integral part of daily life and meant for all age groups. If you are still hooked up with what this term ‘Adult-tainment’ refers to, see it yourself.
To have such kind of adult jokes and sexual imagery in the shows and movies meant for kids is certainly disturbing. Isn’t it important that the content of shows should be developed by keeping the demographics of the target audience in perspective? Age-inappropriate content in form of adult jokes, sexual content, and violence in the children’s shows can be easily spotted and hence, calling such sources of kids’ entertainment as ‘Adult-tainment’ won’t be wrong. No Kidding.
What your kid is watching?
As a responsible parent, you might be careful with what your kid is watching on television. Hence, you allow them to watch only cartoon shows and children’s movies thinking that you are guarding them against age-inappropriate content which is pervasive today across all medium of entertainment. Do you think it is enough?
A recent study based on popular cartoon programs and animated programming suggests that the sexual content has crept not just into the cartoons but also the products which are being marketed to the kids through such shows. Unfortunately, this is not all that kids are exposed to under the name of entertainment. Violence is another aspect shockingly ingrained in many popular animations being telecasted worldwide Some experts claim that animated shows and movies targeting the younger generation often have more violence and brutality than the programmes meant for the general audience. Subliminally integrated sex gags, racist humour, and suicide jokes are also part of many kids’ TV shows, cartoons, and movies.
If this is not shocking then what is?
Why it is troubling?
Any sensible person would agree with the notion that the level of the inappropriate content in children’s shows and movies is shocking. What makes the situation even worse are the research findings suggesting the kind of impact such ‘entertainment’ has on kids. Exposure to sexual content at a premature age is leading behavioural issues, dysfunction of brains, and impacting their cognitive learning. Researchers claim that sexual imagery and content in the name of comedy in cartoons are impacting toddlers’ minds as it leads to limitless production and trigger of Dopamine level which is the ‘molecule of addiction’. Research based on the behavioural study of two groups of kids where one group was allowed to continue watching violent cartoons and another was restricted to the non-violent cartoons only, revealed that after six months the kids of the second group demonstrated a more sociable behaviour. On the other hand, signs of aggression and violent behaviour were clearly reflected in the members of the first group. Recent studies suggest that the involvement of guns even in animations and cartoons could be highly problematic. Cleary, such findings indicate that the content of the show contributes to the manifestation of specific personality traits in kids.
Now, the question is which personality traits do we want our children to have?
The media industry has invaded the entertainment sector for children and is inflating it with age-inappropriate content but have you ever wondered ‘WHY’? The answer would probably shock you more. Somewhere, we, the adults are responsible for this.
The entertainment business works on simple logic like any other business -‘Supply & Demand’. Parents accompany their kids to movie theatres as well as decide what to put on the TV channels. For the companies in this business, automatically the children, as well as the adults, become the target audience. The idea of putting adult humour, sexual imagery, and double meaning dialogues in children shows and movies is a tactic to attract the adult crowd. The adult content integrated into these programmes is an incentive for parents and unfortunately, they fall into this trap.
Hence, the ‘Adult-tainment’. Check it. We, adults, are demanding it.
Unknowingly we have been helping in fostering this adult-tainment culture which is damaging the childhood of our own kids. Hoping and waiting for the entertainment business giants and companies to realise this and change the course dramatically would probably be an exhibition of highly optimistic approach from our end. Rather, let’s be more responsive and active towards filtering what needs to be played on the television at home and which channels and shows your kids should be watching online.
Knock Knock. It’s time to wake up.
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Featured image by Tim Gouw