We know all the negative impacts that TV viewing can have on children – from making them inured to violence to actually spurring them on to becoming violent, and having other damaging psychological impacts on them, TV viewing is also known to be at least partly responsible for a spurt in childhood obesity rates.
And now apparently, we are told, TV may even be responsible for early puberty in children. It has been seen that TV viewing tends to impact the production of a hormone called melatonin.
The direct psychological impact of TV viewing – particularly sex and violence viewing on TV and its effect on hormone levels of children was seen by this.
Melatonin is the hormone that prevents early onset of puberty and it is like an internal clock since it is at its highest level during the evening as the body prepares for sleep. The artificial light and radiation that is emitted by TV and computer and video game screens confuses the senses and disturbs the production of this hormone.
When children were denied access to TV for one week their melatonin levels were seen to go up. This is why it is thought that TV viewing may indirectly be responsible for hastening puberty; by altering melatonin production.