The Mass Media
and Popular Culture
Picture in Numbers:
In 1970, 35% of homes had more than one TV set; 6% of sixth-graders had a TV
in their bedrooms. In 1999, 88% of homes had more than one TV set; 77%
of sixth-graders had a TV in their rooms.
The average American child
grows up in a home with 3 TVs, 3 tape players, 3 radios, 2 VCRs, 2 CD
players, 1 video game player and 1 computer.
The TV is usually on during
meals in 58% of homes with children.
Two-thirds of children 8 and
older have a TV in their bedrooms. One out of five has a computer there as
Children ages 8-13 spend more
time with media than those in any other age group: 6 hours a day.
In a typical week, children
spend an average of more than 19 hours watching TV, more than 10 hours
listening to music, more than 5 hours reading for pleasure, about 2 hours
using computers for fun, and more than 2 hours playing video games.
On a typical day, one out of
every four boys will play an action or combat game like "Doom" or "Duke
85% of children are able to buy
M-rated video games and recordings labeled for explicit content. Fewer than
17% of music and game store clerks ask children their age.
Slightly more than half of
movie theaters enforce the Motion Picture Assn. of America restrictions that
children under age 17 must be accompanied by an adult to see R-rated movies;
48% ask children their age; 45% sell tickets to underage children
unaccompanied by adults.
Commission Survey May-July;
2000 and Kids &
Family Foundation Report, 1999