PSY101: Introduction to Psychology
Instructor: Hillary Locke
Sept. 28, 2014
Media Violence and Violent Behavior in Children
Is violence on television turning our children into violent, destructive, hateful people? Television shows today can be a powerful influence in developing value systems and shaping behavior (Bee, 1998: 261-262). Violence surrounds us due to most of what is on television is violent. For example take Saturday morning cartoons; the level of violence during Saturday morning cartoons is higher than the level of violence during prime time. During prime time there are six to eight violent acts per hour while there are twenty to thirty violent acts during Saturday morning cartoons ("Killing Screens," 1994). Before children finish grade school, they will have witnessed up to eight thousand murders and one hundred thousand violent acts on television (Levine, 1995: 143). Children learn about life through media more than in any other manner. The average child spends approximately twenty-seven hours per week watching television, which means that children spend most of their time only watching television and sleeping (Minow & LaMay, 1995: 32-33). Also, it has been proven by many studies that there is a positive relationship between television violence and behavioral problems in children. The research done by Wood, Wong, and Chachere (1991:378) has shown that "exposure to media violence increase viewers' aggression." This paper will discuss that repetitive exposure of media violence can affect children’s behavior negatively. This destructive behavior can be acted out by imitation of violent acts witnessed on television, by accepting violence as a way to problem solving, and by desensitization to the amount of violence seen on television. This paper will also discuss how parents and teachers can prevent unwarranted viewing of media violence in children and adolescents. Children...