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Television Violence 2 Essay, Research Paper

There is still continuing disagreement and controversy on television violence and its potential effect on small children. Certain studies have frequently shown that television can in fact cause aggression and violent behavior, while networks such as ABC (the American Broadcasting Company) are confident and continue to argue that there are no scientific findings to show a link between television violence and unusually violent behavior in children. In either case, we have to wonder if we really need more censoring or a bigger effort to reduce the amount of violent scenes shown in current TV programming.

The effects of television violence have been displayed in many cases, most of them having to do with children copying things seen on television. Also, the number of juveniles arrested for violent crimes increased dramatically between the years that television became extremely popular in the lives of American youth, along with its simulations of crime and destruction. Since then, people continue to blame television for the aggressive behavior in their children. Their feelings are understandable for many reasons: If the content of violent programs is not what leads to violent behavior, then is it merely a coincidence that the entry of television into the American home brought in it s wake one of the worst epidemics of juvenile violence? (Mary Winn)

It is hard to believe that television violence will lead normal children to become juvenile delinquents. Although many of the research studies do indicate a relationship between viewing violence on television and aggressive behavior, the behavior seen in the research laboratories obviously do not involve rape or murder or any of the other serious crimes included in the FBI report of increased juvenile violence. Instead, any influence it has on children is, for the most part, proven to be much more subtle, such as ordinary childhood pushing and shoving. Many parents and organizations are taking action to further censor television violence, and to reduce the amount of violence shown in daily programming.

Then there are the others, who feel that even if violence on television is a contributing factor to violence in children, that doesn t mean drastic measures should be taken to further limit the amount shown on TV. There are many reasons for this, the most important being that we have a Constitution — and the rights to freedom of speech and freedom of the press should ensure people s rights to see and broadcast what they want. Any censoring would be denying us of our rights. Another big reason, is that the main reason networks continue to air these programs is because people like to watch them! The rating system clearly shows this.

Another point: Just how much can watching violent television programs interfere with the way any child has been brought up? We need to remember that it is the parents who are the progenitors of conscience and that a child who has strong ties to his parents will not over throw their teachings more easily than he could abandon his parents themselves. I do not think any of us here needs to fear this kind of curruption of our children. (Edith Efron)

So is today s television corrupting the minds of young children? Should we fight to keep television clean and pure for our youth? Or, more simply, if parents are so concerned with their children being exposed to this sort of violence, shouldn t they be the ones responsible in controlling their child’s viewing?


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