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Effects of Television Violence
What has the world come to these days? It often seems like everywhere one looks, violence rears its ugly head. We see it in the streets, back alleys, school, and even at home. In many peoples’ living rooms there sits an outlet for violence that often goes unnoticed. It is the television, and the children who view it are often pulled into its realistic world of violence scenes with sometimes devastating results. A lot of research has gone into showing why television and the things that take place on the screen affect kids. Research shows that movies and TV are definitely a major source of violent behavior in children. The research proves time and time again that aggression and television viewing do go hand in hand. It is true that violence on the boob tube affects children. Some are try to find a solution for the problem; others ignore it and hope that the problem disappears. However, the facts are undeniable. The research has been done and the information has resulted out to one conclusion: Television violence causes children to be violent and the effected for the rest of their lives.
The research proved my hypothesis. Violent television viewing does affect children. The effects have been seen in a number of cases. The First case In Alabama, a nine-year-old boy received a bad report card from his teacher. He suggested sending the teacher poisoned candy as revenge as he had seen on television the night before. In California, a seven-year-old boy sprinkled ground-up glass into the lamb stew the family was to eat for dinner. When asked why he did it he replied that he wanted to see if the results would be the same in real life as they were on television (Howe 72). In New York, a boy broke into a basement. When the police caught him and asked him why he was wearing gloves he replied that he had learned on television the when you wear gloves you do not leave fingerprints. These are just a few cases I discovered of how television can affect the child?s mind.
Violence can destroy a young person?s brain. The effects of this violence can be long lasting, and even never-ending. Television at its worst can damage a child’s mind in many ways. It can be influence that disrupt a child?s moral balance and makes a child applicable to aggressive behavior as their perception of the real world changes from the big screen.
Not only can violence on television affect the child’s youth, but it can also affect them later in their adult life. Some psychologists and psychiatrists feel that continued exposure to such violence might mature a child before they are ready and unnaturally force the pressure of the adult world on the child. This can force the child into a kind of premature maturity. As the child matures into an adult, he can become bewildered, have a greater distrust towards others, a superficial approach to adult problems, and even an unwillingness to become an adult (Carter 14). Some parents see television as an unhealthy intrusion into a children?s learning process, substituting easy pictures for the discipline of reading and concentrating and transforming the young viewer into a hypnotized non thinker (Langone 48). As you can see, television violence can disrupt a child’s learning and thinking ability which will cause life long problems. If a child cannot do well in school, his or her whole future is at stake.
Why do children like the violence that they see on television?
“Since media violence is much more vicious than that which children normally experience, real-life aggression appears bland by comparison” (Dorr 127). Many wonder why children are entertained by television and the violence on it .The violence on television is able to be more appealing and exciting than the violence that is normally viewed in everyday life. Instead of just seeing a police officer pull over a car theft, you can watch theft put up a bloody fight with the cop on television. However, children don’t always realize this is not the way thing are handled in real life. After seeing this, children come to expect it, and when they don’t see it the world they in need of violence. This may cause a child to create the violence that their mind is tune to seeing.
The violence people view on television can cause violence in real life in so many ways. As explained above, after kids become immune to television violence the world becomes bland in comparison for them. The child needs to create violence to keep himself satisfied (Dorr 127).
Also the children tend to find their favorite characters on television and try to emulate. “Children do imitate the behavior of models such as those portrayed in television, movies, etc. They do so because the ideas that are shown to them on television are more attractive to the viewer than those the viewer can think up himself” (Brown 98). Shows like South Park and The Simpsons are very popular among young kids. A lot of Young children cannot seem to get enough of these shows and fictional characters and will portray them often. These characters a lot of times affect these children in a negative light.
So many people have research into this topic of children and television violence has been conducted. All of the results seem to come to the same conclusion. There is an extreme correlation between violent television and aggression.
Through research many have found that the city children watched far more television than small farmland places. However, both groups of children were just as likely to choose a violent program to watch when watching television. The city children had a greater tendency to regard violent television programs as accurate reflections of real life than the farm children. Likewise, the city boys identified most with characters from violent programs than did those living on the farms (Huesmann 166).
In other research among U.S. children it was discovered that aggression, academic problems, unpopularity with peers and violence are correlated with each other. This promotes children to act violent.
The child watches violence that causes aggression. The combination of aggression and continued television viewing lead to poor academic standings as well as unpopularity. These can cause more frustration and aggression that can lead to vicious mentality
In yet another piece of research children who watch a lot of violent television were compared to children who don’t. The results were that the children who watched more violent television were more likely to agree that “it’s okay to hit someone if you’re mad at them for a good reason.” The other group learned that problems can be solved passively, through discussion and authority (Cheyney 46).
I have discussed thew problem of violence on television but it is more important that we find solutions for this serious problem. There are many ways in which it can be prevented, but they are rarely executed. These solutions are easy to implement, but are often overlooked because of commercial purposes.
Another way of controlling a child viewing of violence on TV is to create a rating system of the programs. By creating a rating system, parents will be able to control what their children watch on television. The best way to prevent children from watching television violence is to stop it before it begins. The parents should step in and turn the set off when a violent program comes on. The parents are the child’s role models from which he learns. If he can learn at an early age that violence on television is bad, then he can turn the set off for himself when he is older. It is important that parents educate their kids about such subjects.
Taking care of the problems with television violence is simple but there are many steps. There are many factors that have to be considered and people to be convinced. This problem will, no doubt, never go away and continue to get worse as the years go by. However, there are measures that can be taken to prevent the children from ever being exposed to such things. After all, what’s the world going to be like when the lpeople who are now children are running the world?
Cheyney, Glenn Alan. Television in American Society. New York:
Franklin Watts Co., 1983.
Howe, Michael J. A. Television and Children. London: New University
Husemann, L. Rowell. Social Channels Tune T.V.’s effects. Science News
14 Sept. 1985: 166.
Door, Palmer. Children and the Faces of Television. New York: Academic
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