Morality In The Media

In the book, Our Movie Made Children written by Henry James Foreman, he discusses the detrimental affects that movies have on children’s behavior, attitudes, and their developing mind. Throughout the ten pages that we read, he makes cases of how and why movies affect children the way movies do, with data and studies done by Dr. Dale. In general, his case against movies is that it influences children to have unmoral behavior and thoughts due to the situations and ways actors behave in certain movies. For example, one girl stated that she couldn’t look at an Asian man without fear because a movie that she had seen before makes her jump to conclusions that he is evil and that he hurts people (161). In addition, he also states that children and teenagers get their ideas of what love and sex is from the movies as well. One teenager said that after watching a movie she came to the conclusion that bad and rebellious girls are more attractive and always get the man that they want. A teenage boy then went on to say that he learned everything he knows about sex and love from the movies, and had his first kiss after watching Greta Garbo and John Gilbert. Throughout the pages that we read, Foreman makes a case of how powerful and impactful movies are on the youth.

The theory of communication that Foreman states is that movies are not corrupting youth, but the types of movies that are being created. Those that idolize lustful behavior, label certain types of people as evil, and show actors participating in behavior that goes against parent’s morals are movies that are influencing children in a negative way. Power laid in the hands of producers and script writers that made these movies and Foreman urges parents and the public to pressure these film makers to make more morally correct and quality movies that will educated children and teenagers. He then goes on to say by showing more educational movies such as The Ten Commandments, brings healthy influence to a child’s mind and helps them make better decisions.

Although this book was written more than 70 years ago, in 1932, it is still very relevant today. TVs now have an option to add a parental control on them, to avoid their children watching inappropriate movies. In addition to this, ratings have also been created which is another way to at least warn parents that some of these movies may not be suitable for children or teenagers. I believe that the rating system was also created to save filmmaker’s backs from backlash on the content on movies. I believe that morality in the media will be something that will always cause argument between viewers as well as filmmakers. Filmmakers have to make movies that will appeal to audiences otherwise they will not make money. Ultimately in my opinion I believe that is the parent’s responsibility to guard children from movies that they think will harm their child’s thinking. On the other hand, I believe that movies can be a great educational resource as well as an outlet for children to be able to dream and imagine another world that is different from their own.


2 thoughts on “Morality In The Media

  1. I also noticed similarities in Forman’s argument to arguments made today. As I was reading these articles, I thought about how Comstock’s arguments seemed so extreme and ridiculous, but how Forman’s arguments sounded pretty similar to some arguments people are still making. And while I didn’t necessarily agree with him, I thought his argument was more sound and reasonable than Comstock’s.


    • Hi Derek,
      I completely agree with you. Comstock’s laws and arguments that he proposed, were extreme and hard to put into place, for example, you cannot mail or spread information about birth control in the mail. I believe that Forman’s argument was for the greater good and more reasonable. He did not want to ban certain things, he wanted them to be censored to protect children because of the evidence that movies influences children and their minds. Thanks for the comment!


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