The Effects of Television Violence on Children
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It has been calculated that American kids see about 200,000 acts of violence and 25,000 murders on television by the time they reach age eighteen." (Schleifer 18) Arrests of people under the age of eighteen for violent crimes rose forty-seven percent from 1988 to 1992. (Miller 174) The American Medical Association conducted a study that found a direct relationship between viewing and homicide. (Miller 176) Does this kind of overexposure to violence have a significant effect on children and teenagers? The answer is yes! Many reliable sources have proven that violence in the media has a negative influence in children under the age of eighteen. Statistics show that deaths and arrests involving children due to violence committed by other children has increased. Also, children that imitate characters who use violence in the media, display aggressive behavior, tend to be desensitized and give them reason to believe that violence can happen without consequence. The following paragraphs will explain how media violence shows children that violence is acceptable and that it's ok to act in a violent manner. "Experts say children think that violence is an acceptable way to deal with problems and conflicts. (Schleifer 18, Edgar 48) One example of this is a boy named Tim whom was interviewed about violence he was involved in at high school. Tim said that what he saw television made his violent behavior seem more acceptable and it was the way to handle things. He said he learned to by what he saw on the streets and on television. "We not only tolerate violence," says Karl Menninger, a renowned psychologist, "we put it on the front pages of our newspapers." Children will often try to imitate the things they see on television. Some students try to capture the entertainment value they get from the big screen by acting violently in real life. (Kreiner 27) Some cartoons have come into question like The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ren and Stimpy, and Beavis and Butt-Head because there are children that have hurt and been hurt while trying to copy their favorite cartoon. (Edgar 29) In Toronto, a six-year old boy wearing a Ninja Turtle costume stabbed his friend in the arm for not giving back a toy he had borrowed. Another boy in Ottawa was caught swinging the family cat by the head and when his mother tried to stop him he said, "It's just like Michelangelo, one of the Ninja Turtles.
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Media Violence Reliable Sources Big Screen Front Pages Violent Crimes Effect On Children Negative Influence Aggressive Behavior Violent Behavior Real Life
" A little boy started a fired and in which his sister died after watching the MTV show, Beavis and Butt- Head, two teenage characters play with lighters. "Bob Greene, a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, said incident like this is frightening especially because kids are acting out what they see on MTV. (Miller 59) A poll was taken in Los Angeles of young people ages 10 to 16 said that they have often wanted to try something they have seen on TV and are influenced by violence in the media. (Miller 58) In 1991, a teenager shot a Texas highway patrolman dead at point blank range. He testified at his trial that the music of Tupac Shakur made him do it. Another incident was after the opening of the movie Boyz in the Hood. "The violence ranged from Chicago, where a man was fatally shot, to a theater in Alabama, where three teens were shot in a gang fight. (Miller 61) The majority of research done on television focuses on the viewing of violence and how it causes aggressive behavior in the people who view it. (acc.jc.edu/north/masscomm/cartoon/htm) Many studies, including one published by the National Television Study have found, the more and longer children are exposed to media violence the greater the risk they will become aggressive adolescents or adults. (acc.jc.edu/north /masscomm /cartoon/http 1) A teenage boy, who was interviewed said, "It can fuel violence … for kinds who already have a tendency to do it." (Miller 66) As a result the children may respond violently to some situations; "Psycologists believe that heavy exposure to televised violence is one of the causes of aggressive behavior, crime and violent affects youngster of all ages, of both genders at all socioeconomic levels … it can not be denied or explained away." (Miller 65) Children who view large amounts of violence on television are likely to become desensitized to all kinds of violence - televised or real. This is especially true when it come to cartoon violence because the consequences to the victims are rarely shown. (acc.jc.edu/north/masscomm/cartoon/html) Very young children, especially, and some teenagers have trouble distinguishing fact from fantasy. One teenager gang member wounded in a shoot out was amazed at how much the gun shoot hurt. "After all, on television, people who get shot never show pain!" (Schleifer 18) " I didn't know it would hurt him, said an eight year old boy after he was arrested for beating his next door-neighbor." (Kreiner 27) Statistics even show that the media also affects the number of crimes committed by children and murders of children by other children. In 1993, 28 New York youth faced murder charges. On a national scale, arrests for homicide among juveniles went up 93 percent from 1988 to 1992. A 1994 study by Parade magazine showed that 12 percent of all violent crime is now committed inside a school or school property. (Miller 174-175) "In 1991,15 19-year-old males were more likely to be arrested for murder than males in any other age group." (McCUEN 23) A 20-year study conducted by Rowell Huesmann shows that kids who watched a great deal of violence at the age of eight were consistently more likely to commit violent crimes or abuse at the age of 30. (Miller 65) "To say that we are not influenced by what we see is simply not true." (Miller 57) All of the information provided above proves that violence in the media has detrimental effects on children. Children who watch violence in the media are more aggressive and violent and commit more violent crimes. Through desensitizing they have lost their compassion for people who are hurt by violent crimes and therefore feel that it's ok to hurt people. The media has sent this message that using violence is an acceptable way of solving problems. This has showed that media violence can have nothing but a negative effect on children. "Our values, the principles by which we conduct our lives, are determined by all the things that influences us as we are growing up." (Miller 56) " The main point is, television is a teacher-either by design of default." (Miller 65) Children and teenagers are affected by all of the things they see in the media.
effects of tv violence on children Essay
719 Words3 Pages
Effects of Television Violence on Children
In our society today, it is extremely important to pay attention to what influences children. One of the biggest influences America’s youth may have is the television. It is possible for children to be pulled into the television’s realistic world of violence with sometimes devastating results. The impact of television violence on youth behavior has been an issue for many years. Violent programs on television lead to negative behavior by children and teenagers who watch those programs.
“There can no longer be any doubt that heavy exposure to televised violence is one of the causes of aggressive behavior, crime and violence in society. The evidence comes from both the laboratory and real-life…show more content…
Thus, children begin to become less bothered by violence in general and less likely to see anything wrong with it. However, television stations and their executives continue to deny TV's contribution to youth violence.
“Violence on television is damaging to children. Forty years of research conclude that repeated exposure to high levels of media violence teaches some children and adolescents to settle interpersonal differences with violence, while teaching many more to be indifferent to this solution” (Levine 3). Psychological research has shown three major effects of seeing violence on television: Children may become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others, more fearful of the world around them, and may be more likely to behave in aggressive or harmful ways toward others (A.P.A., par. 2).
Many people ask the question, “What are the long-term effects of violent television watching on children?” Research by Dr. James Cantor might help people better understand, the possible damaging effects television has on young children. Dr. Cantor’s research states, “Exposure to media violence, particularly that which entails bitter hostilities or the graphic display of injuries, initially induces an intense emotional reaction in viewers. Over time and with repeated exposure, however, many viewers exhibit decreasing emotional