Children and Violence
What is an influence? An influence is the power of being a compelling force on the actions, behaviors, and opinions of others. Violent programming is a great influence on young minds today. As the days pass by, more and more violent scenes that are seen in movies and regular programming are becoming crimes which are being imitated on the news. Watching violent television hurts a child’s judgment and shows many serious long term effects. Violent programming is a bad influence on young minds by promoting aggressive attitudes, increased fear, and emotional desensitization. First of all, violent programming is a bad influence on young minds because it promotes aggressive attitudes towards others. Children usually tend to emulate what they see, especially when it’s of their heroes. Children often watch television to see their favorite heroes in action such as the Mighty Morphine’ Power Rangers or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Since their heroes are using violence and physical force to resolve conflicts, children seem to use that same concept of violence to solve conflicts as their own as if they’re also acceptable. For example, as a kid, the Mighty Morphine’ Power Rangers was my favorite show. After watching each episode, I had to the urge to go beat up villains. Whether I was the protagonist or the villain, I still wanted to cause violence. These are just two examples of violent television and they’re television programs especially made for children as well. The American Psychological Association in “Violence on Television-What Do Children Learn? What Can Parents Do?” states “Studies have shown that children’s TV shows contain about 20 violent acts each hour” (249). Those are way too many violent acts for a children’s show. Many people whom favor children watching television say that children shows teach morals and responsibility but that is yet to be seen. In “Violence on Television-What do Children Learn? What Can Parents Do,” Aletha Huston, Ph. D, explains that “Children who watch the violent shows, even ‘just funny’ cartoons, were more likely to hit out at their playmates, argue, disobey class rules, leave tasks unfinished, and were less willing to wait for things than those who watched the nonviolent programs” (American Psychological Association 250). This is called observational learning. When it comes to a child that watches television regularly, there is still a lot more violence than really anticipated. In “The Media’s World,” Stacy Winters states: In the U.S., there are around 188 hours of violent programs per week. 81% of programs contain violence. More than 50% of music videos contain violence, and children are often exposed to this when they want to watch the videos with their favorite singers in them etc. Since violence is so heavily featured on TV, children who are highly exposed to such programs may exhibit a relatively high incidence of hostility themselves in imitation of the aggression they have witnessed (A18). Children struggle with the fine line between aggressive attitudes and behavior on television and of those in real life. Once again, in “The Media’s World,” Winters explains that a psychologist named Albert Bandura (whose studies have given us much more insight into social and observational learning) had a famous experiment. Winters states: The experiment involved the Bobo doll study, raised some interesting questions about the importance of these types of learning. In his experiment, Bandura showed two groups of children a film. The first group was shown a film of an adult beating up a Bobo doll. The second group (the control group) was shown a film with no violence in it. When Bandura allowed the two groups access to the Bobo doll, he found that the group that had watched the Bobo film displayed much more aggression than the control group. Bandura's work demonstrated the importance of social learning for children (A18). Once again, observational learning did take over as...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document