Media Violence Exposure and Its Effects on Children
Shehab Al Sayegh
Summer I, 2012
Lebanese American University
ABSTRACT: The fast and the great development in media make the way for violence easier to spread all over the world. Media violence is of different forms, it can be reached by using any type of media. Violence in television commercials and in advertising are two forms of media violence that carry great amount of violence, but even though there are people who are selective to media violence and they feel pleasurable when they are exposed to it. Nowadays the majority of T.V programs and advertising contain violent behavior (about 60%), and that phenomenon may carry great affects on us and our children. Violence nowadays is growing very fast and the development in media gave violence an easy way to spread more and to become a real danger on us and our children. Jones et al (2010) argues that ‘’Most people in the developed world countries are routinely exposed to violence in television and film, video games, music ,the internet and advertising’’(p. 11). Those people are exposed to many forms of violence, let’s say children when they are playing violent video games, indirectly they are exposed to violence and they are learning it as many hours as they play. Another example is when we are watching an action movie, so we are exposed to violence (Jones et al, 2010). There are many forms of media violence that dangerously affects us and our children such as T.V commercials and advertising violence, but although there are dangerous effects of media violence there are people who select exposure and enjoy media violence. The different forms of media make it easier to spread violence, so in every minute we can be exposed to violence. If we are driving, if we are watching T.V, if we are playing a video game, we are surrounded by a variety of things that can expose us to violence. But sometimes people select the exposure to violence, and they feel bored if they did not see violent scenes especially in movies, so there are people who feel affection for watching and exposing to violence. Brocato et al (2010) cite Anderson and Bushman (2001) who argue that ‘’media violence as media-based content that depicts intentional attempts by individuals to inflict harms on others’’ (p. 96). Media violence can be real or animated and in both cases it is called violence, these behaviors are done by individuals where they lead to harmful things on others and that is because people and especially kids are influenced by media (Brocato et al, 2010). Findings and research show that the media violence increases the viewers’ aggression, thus the exposure to media violence may lead to aggressive behavior, and that because people are greatly influenced by what they view and kids in particular try to imitate such scenes they watch in a certain movie or in cartoon, and that behavior may hurt kids because they don’t think about its harms and effects (Brocato et al, 2010). Brocato et al (2010) cite Wood et al (1991) who argues that ‘’media violence exposure resulted in a significant increase in the viewers’ aggressive behaviors’’ (p. 97). Brocato et al (2010) cite Anderson and Bushman (2001, 2002) who develop a model which is called the General Aggression Model (GAP). This model was supported in the long term studies by the USA and Japan, and in the short term studies it shows that the exposure to media violence may lead to aggressive behaviors in children (Brocato et al, 2010). This model studies the effect of media violence on children, and it suggests several examples of the behavior of children who are exposed to media violence, for example when a child see people dressed in black, he/she thought that those people are potential enemies and this is a perceptual schemata, and another example which reflects aggressive beliefs (e.g. fighting is acceptable in certain instances) (Brocato et al, 2010). Brocato et al (2010)...
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