THE IBA published a new study on Wednesday which shows that television may strengthen family ties rather than undermine them as has often been claimed.
Television viewing is a family experience which brings individuals together, according to the report—Behind and in Front of the Screen. Stereotypes leading to a less caring society are smashed by television, the report notes. Hence wealthy families portrayed on the screen tend to be the least happy, whereas poorer families are seen as relatively content.
Turning to the controversial field of violence on the small screen, the IBA study acknowledges parental concerns over the treatment of sex and violence, but adds that such concern "is extended by only some of them to worry about the amount of time their own children spend watching television". The authors—Barrie Gunter and Michael Svennevig—conclude that more onus should be placed on parents in setting an example in their choice of viewing and guiding their offsprings over the amount of time to be spent watching televison.
On the subject of TV's treatment of married life, the report finds that it "may provide useful advice to marriage partners on how to deal with certain problems, where televised examples are seen as relevant to some personal set of circumstances".
The report is available from John Libbey and Co Ltd, 80/84 Bondway, London SW8 (price, £9.50).