Parental Control - TV Rating System
By M. Russell
With the increase of sex and violence on
television, or as George Carlin likes to delicately
put it, "Sax and Violins", parents
have to be more careful than ever about what
they allow their children to watch. But how
do they do that? Unless they've got some kind
of guide or know every movie that's ever come
out there is just no way they can possibly
know if a movie or program is suitable for
How the TV Rating System Works
Essentially, the TV rating system is a system
put in place that evaluates a programs sex
and violence content and rates the program
accordingly. This rating is then displayed,
usually at the left hand corner of your TV
screen. This way, when you turn a program
on you will immediately know if it is something
you want your child to watch. How? Well, the
ratings are pretty well defined, though there
are some gray areas.
Let's cover the basic ratings so you
have an idea of what to expect.
TV Y - This is the lowest, or least offensive
rating. A program with a TV Y rating is deemed
to be appropriate for children of all ages.
This can be either animated or live action.
The themes of these programs are usually also
geared to a very young audience between the
ages of 2 and 6. This program should in no
way frighten a young child.
TV Y7 - This program is usually designed
for children age 7 and older. Usually this
type of program is geared to children who
can differentiate between make believe and
reality. There may be some mild fantasy themes
or comedic violence. It might be possible
for children under 7 to be scared by these
shows. If a show has a great deal of fantasy
violence then it may be given a qualifier
to this rating and be designated TV Y7 FV.
TV G - This program is for people of all
ages. It is not specifically intended for
young children but should be okay for them
to watch. These are usually your family oriented
shows that rarely if ever contain themes that
may be inappropriate for children.
TV PG - This program may contain material
that is not suitable for young children like
mild violence or suggestions of sex. Parents
may want to watch these shows with their children
to answer any questions they may have about
it. These programs occasionally will also
have some suggestive language. TV PG shows
will usually have a qualifier attached to
them as well such as V for mild violence,
L for language or S for sexual situations.
TV 14 - This program is for children over
the age of 14. Parents are strongly cautioned
to watch these shows with their kids. These
programs usually have either intense violence,
strong sexual situations, strong language
or very suggestive dialogue.
TV MA - These programs are intended for mature
audiences only. These are usually not for
children under 17 and usually contain either
graphic violence, explicit sex, or very crude
language. Qualifiers will be attached to these
as well so the parent knows what is contained.
But most likely it won't matter as they probably
won't want their kids to watch these shows
With the above guidelines, parents should
have no trouble monitoring what they want
their children to watch.
Michael Russell - Your Independent
guide to Parental Control