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Effects of Television Vulgarity

Vulgarity. In a recent poll, (April, 2002) nearly eight in 10 respondents to the poll said lack of respect and courtesy is a serious national problem, and six in 10 said the problem is getting worse. This relates to increased aggressiveness, lack of consideration of others, and public vulgarity, all behaviors that are normalized by increasingly vulgar and rude television shows.

Commenting on the study, James G. Lakely at the Frederickburg, VA Free Lance-Star wrote "Vulgarity is the hallmark of popular American culture." But most media experts believe that television has shaped this trend, not reflected it. Rude and vulgar behavior on television "normalizes" the behavior and breaks down the social barriers that help children understand when certain behaviors are appropriate (the locker room) and not appropriate (in class, at a party).

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