Juvenile Crime and the Influence of Media Violence

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Juvenile Crime and the Influence of Media Violence
With several arguments for both sides can we truly determine if there is only one main role in juvenile crime? There are many statistics that show there is a higher aggression level formed in people who watched a great deal of violent television or played violent video games as a child. People must begin to consider that there are several contributors to youth crime and violence. Youth crime is often fueled by media violence and can depend on how a person is raised and the adult influence that, while growing up, surrounds them. Youth crime is far to present in the current generation. There are children harming each other at school and harming their families at home and unfortunately it is far too difficult to pin point only one cause for this violence that we can get under control. In a report for parents and policy makers (Children.. 1999) there are statistics stating the influence of media violence and the barring that it has on juveniles. There are statistics showing that in 1997 alone there were approximately 2.8 million juveniles arrested (Children 1999). Of the 2.8 million, 2,500 were arrested for murder, 121,000 were arrested for other violent crimes, and the remainders of that number were arrested for lesser crimes that are unknown (Children 1999). In 1997 youth arrests accounted for 19% of all arrests, 14% of murder arrests, and 17% of all violent crime arrests (Children 1999). According to statistic reports from the Department of Justice youth arrests increased by 49% between the years of 1988 and 1997 (Children 1999). In 1999 there was a survey done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that showed with in the 30 days before the survey was done 5.9% of students had carried a hand gun to school, 18% of high school students admitted to currently carrying a knife, razor, firearm, or other weapon on a regular basis, and 9% of them take a weapon to school. At this time there was also a Committee report done that showed more than 87% of American households had a television in the home; almost 50% of children had televisions in their rooms; 88.7% of homes with children have home video game equipment, a personal computer, or both. This report also showed that the average teenager listens to 10,500 hours of rock music between the 7th and 12th grades (Children 1999). As stated in Children, Violence and the Media (1999) it was shown that by the age of 18 years old, on average will have already seen more than 16,000 stimulated murders and over 200,000 random acts of violence. These statistics can all help to prove that violence in the media has a profound impact on our youth (Children 1999). In 1999 we were able to prove that media violence could account for influencing approximately 10% of juvenile crime and arrests (Children 1999).

The graph above shows the age of serious criminal offenders as perceived by the victims of the incidents. In this graph it is expressed that the criminal offenses that victims perceived to be performed by juveniles has actually fluctuated frequently and decreased over the years (Bureau 2006).

The two above charts come from statistics found in Colorado. The first of the two shows that in fact with this study the total arrest rate among juveniles has decreased by 32.4% between 1997 and 2006. In the second chart it shows the juvenile arrests by category with results showing that the majority of crimes committed by juveniles were alcohol or drug related as well as other unknown offenses. The lowest of the numbers appears to show criminal acts against another person (Compass 2008).

In a study done by The New Citizen (1992) there were several statistics that connected television violence to juvenile crime. In 1960 Prof. Leonard D. Eron who represents the American Psychological Association began a study on 875 children, ages 8 and 9. Eron later performed follow up researches in 1970 and 1982 that shared results with the...
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