Family Matters Institute » Research Publications » Violence, Pornography and the Media
Violence, Pornography and the Media

There is mounting evidence from teachers, social workers, probation officers, doctors, psychiatrists, paediatricians, as well as from the police and prison service that there is a link between scenes of violence depicted on film, TV and video and human behaviour. The working party has drawn together a large body of evidence of this link, a small selection of which is presented in this report.

In order to check whether public perception is in line with the social situation described by the professionals a national opinion survey was commissioned. This was carried out by Opinion Research Business and the fieldwork was conducted by RSGB during the last week of May 1996. The survey examined public perception of the link between child abuse and pornography and the adequacy of current safeguards to protect children from seeing sex and violence in the media. It also asked questions about sexual assault on men, women and children, the links between pornography and domestic violence, and the coercion of women into unacceptable sexual acts due to the influence of pornography on their partners.

Today most children  have access to TVs, laptops and phones in their bedrooms. Most children have greater knowledge of the new technology than their parents. Parents have little knowledge of what their children are viewing, especially when they are shut away in their bedrooms. Today there is access via satellite and the internet to a variety of material that is potentially  damaging to children. It is this fact which is recognised by professionals who work among children and is causing them grave concern. It is probably also a reflection of the same concern which we see represented in the public opinion survey which is part of this report.

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