SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- Have you noticed all the "harmless" curse words on TV and in video games? If so, it should come as no surprise that studies are showing children who hear that cursing pick up the profanity themselves -- and tend to exhibit more aggressive behavior than youngsters who don't watch profane TV or play video games containing curse words.
"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that children are going to emulate what they see and hear on TV, in the movies, and in video games," said Teresa Tomeo, the bestselling author and syndicated radio host whose newest book is EXTREME MAKEOVER. "When we talk about violence in the media for example, we know that there are a number of studies that show at least a casual connection to violence in the media and aggressive behavior in children."
One of the most recent, from Brigham Young University, revealed that youngsters who are exposed to profanity in the media tend to use it themselves, and exhibit more aggressive behavior. After studying a sample of 223 middle-school students in Missouri and applying statistical models to the results, the BYU researchers concluded that exposure to profanity was little different than exposure to violence on TV or in video games.
"This latest report regarding the impact of children's exposure to bad language in media is alarming," Tomeo said. "Not only are those children exposed to profanity more likely to use it themselves, but they are also likely to become more aggressive toward others. This is just another strong reminder for parents to develop and enforce media guidelines in the home."
In EXTREME MAKEOVER, Tomeo discusses the pervasiveness of media in today's culture and talks about ways that women and their families can make an "extreme media makeover" to rid themselves of the messages and toxic images that bombard them daily and seek to destroy their basic human dignity.