The Influence of Television and Music ?
Whenever a teen gets pregnant, does drugs, uses foul language or commits a crime, certain TV shows and popular songs usually get the blame. Do television and music really have that great of an influence on teens?
No, I definitely think that it's a combination of things. While TV shows and music have some influence, I think that they need to be supplemented by other things.
It's kind of difficult for me to make this argument because I'm a uniquely self-aware person and I know this isn't the case for most people (and it's also slightly unrelated), but when I was in third grade and watching Lizzie McGuire, I did feel bad about myself sometimes because I wasn't "popular" enough. I did feel like it was important to have stylish clothes and do what everyone else did. But when I wasn't watching TV, I forgot all about that. People at my school were not like the people in those TV shows, and I knew from the few times that I tried to be mean or cool that doing such a thing was pointless.
Furthermore, all throughout elementary school, I was bombarded by motivational speakers, pamphlets, and other stuff that told me that I didn't have to give in to peer pressure, etc. And when I got to middle school, people weren't like the popular girls in those shows either. Because of that, which was really kind of based on luck, I reached the conclusion that TV shows weren't like real life, and ever since then I've watched TV shows without once thinking I had to be like the characters.
So yeah. Again, I know that my case is so uncommon, but my point is that TV did not have a major negative influence on me because it was the ONLY thing that was negatively influencing me. I think that sometimes, people overstate the influence of these factors.
Yes, there is some influence. Young people are bombarded constantly with messages of how to act, talk and dress through the use of television, movies and music. While I do not place "blame" on these medias (because it is the parent/guardians role to monitor and guide the children through the blitzkrieg of advertising) they are most definitely a factor. To illustrate my point you only need to look at how the manner of dress has changed ( more cleavage and lower waistlines are relatively new) this is not something that is inherent to dress, it does not provide the necessity of warmth, or even comfort in some cases. What it does do is bring out sexuality, by showing more skin and like a peacock flaunting feathers just says "look at me". The same argument can be made for the style of dancing, etc. And while music will always change, the more current lyrics are indicative of a society that encourages sexuality and the demeaning of women. So while tv and music are not entirely to blame, they are most definitely have to be placed at fault for the decline in the taboo of teen pregnancy and sexuality.
The same argument can be made in young peoples involvement in the committing of crimes. Without the guidance needed to make sure they have the understanding of how criminality is wrong. The teen will only have the tv or music to guide them. Seeing shows or movies, or hearing songs that glorify a criminal or drug influenced lifestyle without seeing consequences can only lead them to believe that it is ok to perform similar actions. This is not to say that it is the only reason, but it is most definitely a factor.