A pediatricians group is calling on parents to restrict the time their children spend watching rock-music videos because the images contain too many depictions of sexism, violence and drug use.
The American Academy of Pediatrics said Monday it rejects censorship, but called on producers and programmers to demonstrate "good taste" in their choice of the images shown in videos on television."Music videos may represent a new art form, but we believe it is one that contains an excess of sexism, violence, substance abuse, suicides and sexual behavior," the academy said in a statement.
Dr. Victor Strasburger, an author of the statement, said the academy is not against rock music, but listening to rock is one thing, and watching images on television is another.
"Teenagers who may not hear or understand rock lyrics cannot avoid the often disturbing images that characterize a growing number of videos," the academy said.
MTV spokesman Barry Kluger defended his music video cable channel, saying all videos are screened for their depictions of women, children and drug and alcohol abuse before being allowed on the channel.
Kluger said he agreed with the academy that parents should more actively control what is watched by their children.
"We're not urging parents to use MTV as a baby sitter," he said.
Strasburger said the doctors are concerned about the number of women who are sexually abused, adding that "we can't show small children images where women are being raped or chained or beat up."
And that is what happens in rock videos, he said. With one study finding that 75 percent of the music videos telling a story contain sexually suggestive material, and 56 percent of them containing violence, often against women.
Strasburger said parents should watch music videos with their children to influence the children's reaction to the images.