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Autor: anton 10 June 2011
Words: 1330 | Pages: 6
TV Violence and Children
America has the highest crime rate in the world. Along with that crime
rate is also the substantially high violence rate. Why is violence
becoming and everyday event in our society? When you flip on the
"tv" and tune into the news, the highlight of every show is somehow
Directly related or connected to violence. We see it every evening and
"Oh my gosh, how terrible." and then forget all about it two minutes later.
Or perhaps we don't even make any comments at all, This numbness to
violence is very scary and very real. Why is it
then that America has the most crime and violence. Why not Switzerland or
Australia. Are we not as civilized and advanced as they? I believe it is this
numbness to violence that has made America so violent.
When we where younger we had things to watch like
"Sesame Street", "Mr. Rogers", and "Scooby - Doo". I
have nothing but good memories filled with happiness, . When you watch a children's programs today
you see senseless violence often as the first means of solving a problem. The classic view of
"good" versus "evil" is the basis of these shows with violence as the answer.
When children watch these programs they copy the actions and "morals" of these
shows depicting "good" and "evil". Children do not know what "good" is or what
"evil" is, how can they? This world is not broken into "good" and "evil".
"Evil" to children is what opposes them, what does not agree with them, or any
other person or thing that poses a possible difficulty. Children must be taught
that there are differences in this world. This world is filled with many people
that have different beliefs, ideas, and morals. Children need to learn to respect these differences from
a very young age. They need to learn to talk out and solve any disagreements or
problems through other means than violence. They must not "know" violence as an
answer, as if violence was never even an option to consider in solving a
Children are the easiest to manipulate and take advantage of because they are innocent and because
they are innocent they are also ignorant. Some people say that the boy was merely
maturing, becoming more like a man. But how many five year old boys do you
know that have testosterone flowing through their body? The main problem was
the television shows that he was watching. That is very obvious.
The problem with the above mentioned case was not just television itself
but the combination of television and child. Children are very susceptible and
easily persuaded as we all know. In the early 1960's, Albert Bandura of
Stanford was the first to present the theory that children not only learned from
their parents through imitation but also through imitating television. So when
children imitate what they see on television, especially when it is something
that is rewarded, and knowing how violent television is these days, television
can and does influence children in violent and aggressive ways. When children
are raised with violent television "...they become desensitized to real people's
suffering..." (Leland 47). When children watch a man get blown up across the
screen and see the hero prevail from the conflict it encourages the thought that
when you want something, it's alright to obtain it through violence because you
will be rewarded in the end. This along with the fact that a murder on
television shows is so common that children begin to project what they see on
television onto the world they live in and resulting in confusing fantasy with
Most psychologists believe that media alone is not the sole problem of
violence in children, but a major one in particular, some studies conclude that the single
best predictor of adulthood violence and aggression is not due to violent homes,
poverty, poor school performance, single parent homes, nor to real life
violence, rather to heavy amounts of television/media violence. But "...of
course not every child is affected." (Qtd. Leland 47). The reason for this
is because children with fewer natural aggressive tendencies are less affected
by television violence, in other words, if a child is naturally aggressive,
violent television tends to bring these traits out.
The content of the television doesn't need to be violent to have a violent
affect on children, but television shows with high amounts of action and
tension had the same results as those with violence, adding to the large
spectrum of television programs that can have effects on children. Researchers
have also found that the affects of violence in television on adults is much
lower to that of children because adults know the difference between what is
real and what is "tv land".
Another interesting tid-bit about television violence: by age 18, a child will
have seen at least 150,000 acts of violence on the television. By age six, most
children will have watched 5,000 hours of television and by the end of high
school, over 19,000 hours. That is a lot of television.
What would happen without television? Brandon S. Centerwall, a epidemiologist, claims that
without television the United States would have nearly
10,000 fewer murders per year, almost 70,000 fewer rapes, and 700,000 fewer
assaults. Although many disagree his statements and predictions,
there is no doubt that without television there would be fewer aggressive
actions in the United States. Proving the "no television, fewer crimes" theory
will be very difficult but the evidence will eventually surface in the years to
come. hopefully the television companies and corporations will begin to see,
but maybe it will be too late and television will be planted to deep into the
roots of American society.
Is the media to take all the blame? Of course not. After all, this is
America and I believe nothing more strongly than freedom of speech and
expression. The solution to this problem is censorship. Censorship not at the
governmental level, nor at the state level, nor at the cable company level,
rather at the level of the parents. They and they alone are the ones who need
to decide what is best for their children for only they know what is best
another problem arises! In today's society, two working parents is the norm.
For many children there is no one at home to tend them, to tell them what to
do and make sure that they do it. Children are left to their own. A baby sitter as an "adult"
replacement is fine for watching over the safety of the children, otherwise
they could care less what the children watched because they undoubtedly watched
or still watch the same program or consider it harmless because it is an "after
school kids cartoon".
What has the media done to counteract this? Very little to nothing.
They deny that the problem actually exists. But the problem does exist and is
very real, and they can help stop it. They can help change it. What then is
preventing it? What is preventing the media from trying to help? Money of
course. What could be more important than money? These children's shows are
big money makers and that says it all. The media has done very little in
actually helping solve the problem, in fact about the only thing they have done is
to add a special 30 second warning before a show or television movie that may
contain scenes that require "parental supervision". Although this is a step in
the right direction, more action is needed. It could be up to us so I would start thinking.
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