Television and Violence
By Trevor Huffman
Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, Batman! Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, Batman! Batman, Batman, Batman! Wham! Pow! Kaboom! We have all no doubt watched and mimicked at some point in our lives our favorite comic book hero’s. We have donned the capes and strapped on the fake guns to run around the great outdoors in search of capturing and eliminating the villains! The television has brought these images and these heroines to us for many generations, and no doubt will continue to do so for many more. The question becomes, does this have a negative impact on children and their perception or acceptance of violence?
“In 1996, the American Medical Association (AMA) issued the starting statement that violence in television and films had reached such a high level that it posed a hazard to our health. More recently, a study found a strong link between aggressive behavior and the amount of time elementary school children spend watching television and using video games” (Macionis, p. 78). According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology, it has been found that American children spend approximately four hours every single day watching television.
The television programming of not only past years is flooded with violence. Perhaps these violent instances that children watch do have a big impact on their behavior. There have been hundreds of studies of the effects of television violence on children and teenagers and the results show that “children may: * Become “immune” or numb to the horror of violence
* Gradually accept violence as a way to solve problems
* Imitate the violence they observe on television, and
* Identify with certain characters, victims and/or victimizers” (AACAP, online). It stands to reason that children who watch extremely violent television shows are impacted by it. It does make sense that these children would wish to...