This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Youth Ki Awaaz. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

TV Show Ethics And Its Global Impact

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

By Ateendriya:

In this day and age, when ethics in reality have been so far compromised in the hankering for success and self satisfaction, how much does one expect television shows to stick to their ethical protocol? Even more so, when the ethics of TV shows are a hazy blur- no clear rules, and no set guidelines to stick to. But the real question is this- is the lack of ethical conduct in reality resulting in a reflection of the same in TV shows or do the TV shows drive people towards unacceptable behaviour?

The answer is not a simple one- it perhaps starts with reality influencing the content of the shows and then rapidly causes an inverse cycle of these shows, in turn influencing more people to emulate what they see on TV. Some examples of Indian as well as foreign TV shows are required here. Take for instance teenage American dramas like 90210 and Gossip Girl, which for one would make misguided teens a false idea of cultural “coolness” and make them want to behave the way the characters do. Besides explicit content, the show also has morally ambiguous characters which are clearly a bad influence on adolescents.

Other TV shows like Dexter, while extremely entertaining in their revolutionary concepts, can adversely influence people into hero-worshipping a serial killer. Showing a murderer in a good light can be rationalized but the problem is that once out there, the way it influences people is not something predictable of controllable.

In fact there have been several cases, where people have claimed to be inspired into some criminal activity or the other by TV shows. In November 2009, Andrew Conley, 17, was arrested in Rising Sun, Indiana, in connection with the death of his 10-year-old brother, Conner. Conley was a regular viewer of Dexter, and claimed that he felt “just like him”.

Another case is that of the graveyard murders, In April 2011. An engaged couple, Maartens van der Merwe, 24, and Chané van Heerden, 20, were arrested in Welkom, South Africa, in connection with the death of 24-year-old Michael van Eck. Nether denied the accusation. The murder imitated the brutal fashion as that shown in the series. The police later found that the couple openly referred to each other as “Dexter” and “Lumen”. The parents of the couple stated that the couple had a big love for the television series Dexter, and often quoted and impersonated the characters. Family members stated that “the couple’s relationship was a reflection of the deadly and gruesome relationship between Dexter Morgan and Lumen Pierce.”

The above examples clearly show the extreme to which unethical content of TV shows could directly and violently affect society.

Less impactful but equally unethical, in my opinion, are the vast number of Indian TV shows that depict women as ideally meant for housework and motherhood. Even in this modern age, studies have shown that many people still enjoy TV shows whose underlying concept is the submissive, stay-at-home woman serving her husband devotedly. When on the one hand TV shows like these continue to be shown and received with equal enthusiasm, it is a small wonder that gender equality as the basis of social interactions seems a thing of the distant future.

Besides fictional TV shows, Reality TV is another concept that perhaps disregards all kinds of ethical guidelines. The competitive shows for children not just put undue pressure on them but also thrust them into the adult world almost ten years too soon. Many times parents, in an attempt to prove to the world their child’s talents, force them into participation. This, and the often harsh criticism by the judges, can often damage a child’s psyche and cause serious repercussions later.

Other types of reality TV shows, which involve adults, are even more ethically misguided. Shows like Roadies that are built on the concepts of physical pain and humiliation as tests are not only dehumanizing but also distort the ideas of the young viewers. Other shows like Big Brother, and its Indian counterpart Big Boss, promote an obscene sense of voyeurism in people, and cause unnecessary and often permanently damaging conflicts between people.

In conclusion, it can be said, that the TV shows that flout ethical guidelines, be it in their content or language, do not do so with intent to cause problems in society and in fact, often draw their ideas from the society itself. It is true that these shows have an artistic liberty and too much restriction compromises that, but a line must be drawn. Every work of art is in the end responsible to society and as such it is, extremely important to have a code of ethics and a strict implementation of the same.

You must be to comment.

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By Zeba Zoariah Ahsan

By Ali Qalandar

By Nehal

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below