While attitudes have changed, a significant proportion of people are still concerned by what is shown, with 19 percent of adults, questioned in 2011, offended by something that they had watched in the past 12 months.
The independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries – Ofcom’s annual survey found that 25 percent of adults are unhappy with the amount of sex on the small-screen, down from 36 percent in 2005, the Telegraph reported.
More than a third (36 percent) said that there is too much violence, down from 56 percent, and 37 percent are concerned about the amount of foul language, a drop from 55 percent in 2005.
The figures also show a fall in the level of concern since 2010, when 30 percent said that there was too much sex and 43 percent were concerned by violence and language.
Ofcom’s report also found that 77 percent of UK adults, up from 64 percent, believe that the 9pm TV watershed, designed to protect younger audiences, is set at the right time.
Only 12 percent think that the watershed is too early.
Around half (55 percent) of the adults questioned said that the standard of TV programmes has remained consistent over the previous 12 months.
The proportion saying that standards have declined is at 31 percent, down from 40 percent in 2005, but only 12 percent said that there has been improvement in the last 12 months.
Older people are more likely to feel that standards have declined (46 percent among those aged 65 and over), while the youngest (16-34) were more likely to feel that they had improved (18 percent).
When describing why standards had got worse, most cited more repeats (71percent) and lack of variety (43percent).
Overall, three quarters (74 percent) felt the current levels of TV regulation were “about right” but Ofcom said that the take-up of new technology which changed viewing habits would raise new questions.
The research was conducted for Ofcom by the research agency BDRC Continental with a sample of 1,700 adults.