10 March 2014
Reality Shows and Its Influence in Youth
Television programming has changed dramatically over the past decades. Situation comedies, family dramas, and crime shows have given a way to a number of reality programs such as Jersey Shore, Teen Mom, and the Real World. These television programs have taken all kinds of attitudes and behaviors. But the most important and worrying thing is that the predominant behavior in this kind of television programs have been negative. It’s shown young people binge drinking, having casual sex relations, teen pregnancy and violence. All this bad behavior is exhibited on the screen, without any filter, and directed to any kind of audience, including pre-teens, teens and young adults. Reality shows have taken over television screens. In fact, 27 hours of reality shows were scheduled for broadcast television in the early months of 2008, representing a 50% increase compared to the previous year. With the growth of these television programs, pre -teens and teens are more likely to are attracted towards them. In fact, these programs have enjoyed a high level of popularity among the youth. But what is more important is that there is evidence that young people tend to imitate the stars of any show or movie, including reality shows. Teenagers develop connectivity with these characters who act counter to the values and integrity of people. I believe that reality shows should be censored because it teaches undesirable behavior like casual intimate relations, alcohol drinking and violence to young people. The reality show The Bachelor lets a man pick a bride out of a group of single, attractive women hand-picked by the producers. Fox's Married by America lets the audience pick the bride. Producers hope for a "hook-up" they can televise nationally. Fox forces couples to "hook up" and immerse themselves in a whirlpool of sexuality, competition and seduction, or get kicked off the island on Paradise Hotel. Every time a reality show ups the ante with outrageous behavior or shocking footage, it's encouraging subsequent shows to add more skin, more twists, and more shocking behavior. Also, some reality T.V. shows such as Sixteen and Pregnant and Teen Mom, have suggested that teen pregnancy is good or even something that should be rewarded. The people on the mentioned shows get paid $140,000 a season. These girls are basically being rewarded for getting pregnant at an early age. Even though the shows were originally made to spread awareness of teenage pregnancy, the affect they have has made it seem like it was a good thing to be a teen mom. Tabloids are a good example of teen pregnancy glamorization. They have putted teen moms on covers. Many of the young women have become celebrities appearing on magazines. Some young girls are exposed to believe that it is all right to get pregnant at an early age so they can be on Teen Mom and become rich and famous. “Putting the stars of these reality shows on a magazine cover puts them on the same plane as any actress, singer, or other celebrity,” the organization’s Director of Communications and Public Education, Melissa Henson, said. “It is sending the message to girls that if you get pregnant as a result of being sexually active; you could end up on TV or a magazine cover.” Another example of the glamorization of the deficient behavior is the reality show Jersey Shore, which shows six young people go through living in the same house. The cast appear several episodes going out to pub clubs, abusing alcohol, getting a different partner to have casual intimate relations and various violent stages caused by drunkenness. But the programs do not even have to be about a bunch of drunk young people to deploy violence. The researchers looked at five reality shows and five non-reality shows and found 52 acts of aggression per hour on reality TV compared to 33 per hour for the non-reality programs. All the gossip, insults...
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