When you think of “violence” you hardly ever think of kids’ TV programs, right? Well, recently a study revealed that some of the shows that your children will be watching might actually be harmful to them in the long term.
Read on to find out the details…
When you put your kids down in front of the television, you don’t expect them to be witnessing blood, gore, and horror, that’s for sure.
Especially shows like Peppa Pig.
I mean come on, it’s a show about a young talking pig!
For those of you that have never had the pleasure of watching Peppa Pig, I’ll bring you up to speed.
It’s basically a TV programme that started off in the United Kingdom and somehow found global fame as one of the best kids TV shows out there.
We have the protagonist, Peppa, her little brother George and her mom and dad.
Who also talk, obviously.
So it’s perfect for kids… Or so we thought.
Recently, a new study has come out and deemed Peppa Pig and other TV shows as dangerous.
The study was conducted by researchers at the universities of Bath (UK) and Calgary (Canada) and published yesterday.
I know, I know, we’re pushing the boat out there, but let me take you through the details of the investigation and how the analysis of the data led to this outcome.
This list included the likes of Despicable Me 2, The Secret Life of Pets, Toy Story 3 & 4, Incredibles 2, Inside Out, Up, Zootopia, Frozen, and Finding Dory as well as a bunch of kids’ TV programs: Sofia the First, Shimmer and Shine, Paw Patrol, Octonauts, Peppa Pig, Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood.
They found the following:
– 454 painful incidents – a mean of 8.66 incidents of pain per hour.
– Violent pain or injury is the most common type of pain depicted (occurring in over two-thirds of instances – seventy-nine percent).
– Boy characters are much more likely to experience severe pain in comparison with girl characters (according to facial expressions).
– Examples of everyday pain (i.e. a character falling over or bumping their knee), being much less common, represented in only twenty percent of incidents.
– A general lack of empathy from other characters in responding to pain: seventy-five percent of painful instances were seen by others, yet in forty-one percent of cases those witnessing it did not respond, or where they did they were generally not empathetic.
They also hoped that by conducting this study on pain, they would be able to take the research and apply it to real life, making sure that producers are much more mindful about what concepts they want to expose to kids.
And apparently shows like Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol portray these “harmful” ideas.
For example, when a character falls to the floor and gets up without feeling any sort of pain, or if another character displays a lack of empathy when witnessing such incidents.
“How children experience, model, understand, and manage pain has real lasting consequences for them as individuals but also for all of us across wider society. Pain, in particular chronic pain, can have hugely debilitating effects on the lives of children and young people right through into adulthood.”
“Part of the challenge in this is how we talk about pain. We know children spend increasing amounts of time watching these influential programs and films and that what they depict feeds through to their understanding and awareness of an issue. When it comes to pain, as we see from this study, the picture presented by these media is not reflective of children’s common experiences, instead of focusing much more on extreme and violent pain.”
“Our assessment is that these programs could do much more to help children understand pain by modeling it in different ways and crucially by showing more empathy when characters experience pain. That’s important for how children interact with others when one of them experiences pain, such as when a friend might fall over in the playground or when they go to the doctors for routine vaccinations.”
“It is undoubtable that the media is a powerful force in how children learn about the world. The way pain is unrealistically portrayed is teaching young children that pain is not worthy of help or empathy from others, and that it will be experienced and responded to differently if you are a boy or a girl. We have a responsibility to change these societal narratives about pain.”
In the meantime, keep scrolling to see why people had a bigger problem with Paw Patrol…