Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


Is Profanity on TV Harmless?

posted by Linda Mintle

Steven Tyler gets bleeped repeatedly on American Idol. Howard Stern, known for his use of profanity, is a judge on America’s Got Talent. I could make lists of people who are constantly bleeped on television due to their language. I find it completely unnecessary and a real lack of imagination when it comes to the English language.

My kids and I have this on-going conversation regarding profanity. They think TV reflects the way people talk in real life. I say TV has purposely increased its use of profanity and gives license to this behavior.  I don’t hear this amount profanity in the general public– not at my job, among my neighbors, in public places or with friends. This may be a generational shift because I didn’t grow up hearing profanity on so much media.

The increase in the use of profanity on TV is not my imagination. The Parents Television Council did a study in 2011 and found  that the amount and gravity of profanity on television is higher than ever. One reason had to do with a FCC ruling in July of 2010. Basically, a panel of judges allowed broadcasters to freely use expletives in the late night hours when challenged in court. Networks pressured the FCC to stop enforcing its decency laws. One result, is more language during the prime time hours. The study showed that the use of profanity is deliberate and pervasive.

My question is why? What’s the point of this? To teach our kids to be potty-mouthed? To what end?

Is this another attempt to desensitize the culture to rudeness?

People are influenced by what they hear and see on television, especially teens. Due to media influence, swearing has moved  from a language of restraint to one of license. It has becomes part of the normal landscape of television. And I believe this has something to do with the lack of civility that we continue to see in our culture.

So does P.M. Forni, co-founder of the Civility Project at Johns Hopkins University. When it comes to cursing, he says it is “Still the language of aggression… the precursor to violence. Very often, rudeness and cursing are the beginning of an escalation toward violence.  Words, our words, are like our hands.  They can soothe and heal, but they can also strike, which means they can hurt.”

Furthermore,  a study in Pediatrics linked profanity to increased violence.  Researchers found that exposure to profanity is moderately associated with acceptance and use. Both influence physical and relational aggression.

Bottom line, profanity is not harmless. If the end result can be less civility and more aggression, why do we want this and why are writers and media executives so bent on injecting profanity in so much media?

And scripture is not silent about the use of our tongue. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

The question is, Do we want to tear down or edify with our speech?  Seems like the choice is an easy one.

 



Previous Posts

Relatives Who Drink Too Much: How to Handle it
Question: We will be traveling to our relatives in another state for several family gatherings during Christmas. Two of my siblings are problem drinkers and I am not sure how to handle this with my family. We do not drink so my children are not used to seeing family members act up while under the in

posted 6:00:57am Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Christmas Shopping With Toddlers: Dr. Linda's 10 Tips
A reader asks: As much as I love to shop on-line, I prefer to tackle the masses during Christmas and head to the malls and store. My question is, “How can I shop with two little ones (ages two and four) and remain sane?” I will have to take them with me but really want to give it a try.  

posted 6:00:45am Dec. 17, 2014 | read full post »

What's Eating You This Holiday Season? Keep a Log and Find Out!
Joanne looked at the chocolate-covered donut in her hand. As she took her first bite, she wondered, "Why am I eating this? I''m not really hungry, but the plate of goodies sitting by the office coffee pot just looks good. Besides, my boss is making me crazy! But is there more to the story? F

posted 6:00:24am Dec. 16, 2014 | read full post »

10 Ideas to Avoid Depression During the Holidays
It's the most wonderful time of the year....well, not for everyone. Holidays can be difficult if you struggle with your mood and family issues. However, there are proactive ways to keep your spirit bright. 1) Don't overspend. Avoid being caught up in all the deals, discounts and e-shopping. Fi

posted 6:00:31am Dec. 12, 2014 | read full post »

6 Tips to Avoid Child Meltdowns During the Holidays
Are you dreading that trip in the car to grandparents? Is the hype of the holidays overstimulating your children? Too  much sugar, too little sleep? Try these 6 tips:   1) Routines and rituals: Try to keep as many going as you can. Even when you travel, insist on a regular bedti

posted 6:00:20am Dec. 10, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.