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Dr Who is blamed over epidemic of spider fears among young children (1975)

1975-04-28 Times.jpg

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Dr Who, the BBC's science fiction time traveller, "was probably responsible for an epidemic of spider phobia among young children" according to Dr Michael Hession, consultant psychiatrist to the Church of England's Children's Society.

A recent Dr Who series pitted large hairy spiders against the hero. Writing in the General Practitioner about nervous disorders among children, Dr-Hessian says fears and phobias are almost universal among young children.

Phobias, such as those of spiders, may have cultural or family origins, but that is not one of the more severe or disabling child fears, he says.

The BBC said last night that the spiders used in the series "were not like ordinary spiders". It added that Dr Hession's observation was the first time it had heard about the alleged effects.

Mrs Mary Whitehouse, secretary of the National Viewers and Listeners' Association, said yesterday that Dr Hession had underlined the warnings her organization had been giving of the effect of Dr Who on very small children.

"The BBC admit that they have done no research whatever into the effect of television programmes on children under five and that this programme is really meant for the intelligent 10-year-old and over", she said. "Yet they persist in putting out Dr Who at 5.30 in the evening.

"We intend to ask the BBC as a matter of urgency to finance independent research into the effect of Dr Who in the under-fives, and, in the meantime, ask them to switch the programme to 6.30."

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  • APA 6th ed.: (1975-04-28). Dr Who is blamed over epidemic of spider fears among young children. The Times p. 2.
  • MLA 7th ed.: "Dr Who is blamed over epidemic of spider fears among young children." The Times [add city] 1975-04-28, 2. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: "Dr Who is blamed over epidemic of spider fears among young children." The Times, edition, sec., 1975-04-28
  • Turabian: "Dr Who is blamed over epidemic of spider fears among young children." The Times, 1975-04-28, section, 2 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Dr Who is blamed over epidemic of spider fears among young children | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Dr_Who_is_blamed_over_epidemic_of_spider_fears_among_young_children | work=The Times | pages=2 | date=1975-04-28 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=20 November 2017 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Dr Who is blamed over epidemic of spider fears among young children | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Dr_Who_is_blamed_over_epidemic_of_spider_fears_among_young_children | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=20 November 2017}}</ref>