Cartoons and Violent Behavior in Children

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Television is an integral part of most families’ lifestyles. Most households now own even more than one television. The average child watches 1,680 minutes of television per week. The number of murders seen on television by the time the average child finishes elementary school is 8,000. (Herr, 2007). “The UCLA Television Violence Monitoring Project (1995), commissioned by four major American networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC), defined violence as anything that involves physical harm or a threat of physical harm of any sort, intentional or unintentional, self-inflicted or inflicted by someone or something else.” (Alter, 1997). Cartoons that provide comedy can still have violence, then there are the cartoons that are just show for their portrayal of superheroes, and we still have cartoons that have educational value and worth to them. Violence in cartoons is seemingly now an integral part of cartoon content. In fact, the frequency of violence in cartoons is higher than in live-action dramas or comedies. (Potter & Warren, 1998). Many cartoons that provide comedic elements still portray elements of violence. Examples of these cartoons are: Woody Woodpecker, Scooby Doo, and Bugs Bunny. These cartoons actually teach us that violence is funny. (Von Riedemann, 2007). In return, children could actually try these things at home, such as hitting someone over the head with a frying pan, thinking this is either funny or that no one can seriously be injured by it. While other cartoons just portray violence with superhero qualities. Some examples of these cartoons are: The X-Men, Power Rangers, Superman, Batman, and Spiderman. These cartoons characterize fighting or fleeing from violence, rejoicing in violent acts, and depicting more violence than a child would ordinarily see. (Von Riedemann, 2007). In these types of scenarios, children mimic playing with guns and getting into fights with swords with friends at the playground at school and can even get...
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