Media Violence and Children

Topics: Violence, Television, Aggression Pages: 9 (3126 words) Published: May 10, 2013

Does Exposure to Media Violence Causes Real Aggression on Children?

Ruby Galvan
CJ 205 Juvenile Justice Systems
Paper 1
July 2011

Children in the United States are exposed to a great deal of media violence. On average, 70% of prime-time television programs and 93% of children’s programs contain violence (Gerbner, Ross, Morgan & Signorielli, 1994). There is a strong consensus among researchers that viewing media violence causes real aggression on children. This research draws on empirical studies with different theories and methods. The purpose of this research is to determine if media violence causes real aggression on children. The results should indicate if there is a correlation between media violence and real aggression on children.  

Does Exposure to Media Violence Causes Real Aggression on Children? The debate over media violence and its effects on children has been a controversy over the last decades. Nowadays many children spend a significant amount of time in front of television and much of its content is violent in nature. Many researchers have examined the relation between exposure to media violence and real aggression. “Long term effects with children are now generally believed to be primarily due to long-term observational learning cognitions supporting aggression whereas short-term effects with adults and children are recognized as also due to priming or imitation of specific behaviors” (Huesmann, 2003). Some researchers have demonstrated that very young children will imitate aggressive acts on television in their play time with friends. Before age four, children are unable distinguish between fact and fantasy and may view violence as an ordinary occurrence. Prime time programs averaged approximately five violent acts per hour, while programs aimed at children averaged 23 violent acts per hour between 1973-1995 (Gerbner, et al., 1994). “From the time the sperm and egg unite, miraculous changes occur that culminate in the birth of an infant” (Martin & Fabes, 2009, p.89). Ever since a child is born their learning process start and they will need our orientation to help them survive in this world. People are in charge of their development. “Through modeling, individuals learn new behaviors, the contexts appropriate for those behaviors, and their consequences” (Martin & Fabes, 2009, p.38). Children often mimic the action of super heroes from movies and television that is why is important to guide our children since there are little and to learn how watching media violence can affect their future behavior. As it is stated in the text book, “…they hold that children will model their behavior according to the reactions they receive from others, either positive or negative; the behavior of those adults that are in close contact with, especially parents; and the behavior they view on television and in movies” (Siegel and Welsh, 2009).

What the government is doing about this issue? As most people know television is viewed by most people as a teacher in every home because of that the government has implemented some legislation in order to make sure children are watching educational programs on television. “Between 1960 and 1970, Congress passed legislation funding the construction of public educational television stations and the development of educational programming. Today public television provides a wide range of educational programming, and almost every US family has access to these programs” (Martin & Fabes, 2009, p.294). There is another policy that protects children and is called The Children’s Television Act, this was approved by congress on 1990 and it has the purpose of increase the quantity of educational and informational broadcast television programming for children with the only purpose of further the positive development of children 16 years of age and under in any respect, including the child’s intellectual, cognitive...
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