By Hilary White

MONTREAL, November 10, 2005 ( – McGill University child psychologist Rina Gupta told the Montreal Gazette that she fears explicit sexual content on television and other media is inducing kids to engage in sexual activity at an earlier age.

Gupta, a practicing child psychologist and Co-Director of the International Center for Youth, said that children are “bombarded” with soft-core pornographic imagery, including “faux lesbianism” wherever they look. “It really creates things in the minds of young people about what things should be like, sexually,” said Gupta. “. . . In my private practice, it’s exceptionally clear they’re being influenced.”

A study by the RAND Corporation showed that teens who saw sexual content on TV were more likely to engage in sex themselves “in the following year.”

And sexual imagery is on the rise. According to researchers there has been a staggering increase in the number of sex-related scenes in television programmes since the end of the 1990’s. The Kaiser Family Foundation, a philanthropic group that studies health care, has shown that sexual content was spotted in more than 3,800 scenes on 1,100 television shows; up from about 1,900 in 1998.

Sexual content, as defined in the Kaiser study, could be anything from discussions about sex to scenes involving everything from kissing to intercourse. The study found that 70 percent of all shows included some sexual content, averaging about five sex scenes per hour.

“Kids who have repeated exposure to sexual content become sexually active at an earlier age. The research is absolutely there,” said Tim Winter, executive director of the Parents Television Council.

In the US, filing media obscenity complaints with the FCC has recently been made much easier via the FCC website. See the links below. However, the low fines and lengthy time to process complaints haves made FCC regulations so far a toothless tiger.

In Canada,Âchildren and families have far less protection from media sexploitation.ÂThe CRTC, which is the counterpart to the US FCC, is not receptive to these kinds of complaints and isÂnot all thatÂconcerned about indecency on the airwaves. It asks complainants toÂinstead directly contactÂmedia outletsÂand theÂbroadcast industry’s own, self-regulatingÂBroadcast Standards Council with specific complaints.ÂÂ

In a 2003 response to a complaint, Valerie Smith, of CRTC client services, stated, “Under the Broadcasting Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we must also respect freedom of expression, and the journalistic, creative and programming independence enjoyed by the broadcasters. In short, the Commission is not a censor board.”

See the Parent’s Television Council website:

In the US, to file a complaint with the FCC go to

And use the FCC complaint form at

  See article
  Delays, Low Fines Weaken FCC Attack on Indecency

For Canada,Âcomplete CRTC letter re: the CRTC’s position on media indecency complaints. Includes link to revealing 2004 ruling.

See Canadian Broadcast Standards Council website with links to complaint page and form

  Pro-family advocates also recommend contacting MPs to request stonger CRTC role in prohibiting obscene or exlicit sexual material from radio and television.

To contact your MP