It is acknowledged that media such as television, music, music videos, movies, video games, internet and other visual implements penetrate our daily lives in one form or another. This concept is especially applied to teenagers. Today, adolescents usually go straight home after school. However, they are not dedicating their time on homework or revision. Instead, they are mostly tempted to spend time being entertained with watching television and listening to music. These two amusements have already become their principle life activities.
From time to time, numerous experts and government authorities examine the impact of television and music on teen violence extensively. In general, these investigations have documented consistently that exposure to these two media contributes to aggressive behaviour in viewers and may influence their perceptions about violence in the real world. More than that, 98% of American homes have a television and 67% of these homes also subscribe to cable TV. American teenagers watch an average of 20 hours of television a week. Besides, American teens normally spend around 30 hours per week on listening Rock/Rap music. The violent song lyrics have attracted a great deal of attention. As a result, television and music are always blamed for contributing to teen violence.
By 2002, the time teenagers spending on television and music have dropped by one- third compared to 1990, though it is still at a high usage rate. However, the youth violence rate is not lowered. It even climbed to the peak for the past two decades. In addition, those studies on television and music were conducted twenty years ago. The findings would not be reliable anymore as the society had changed dramatically since 1980s. This paper is going to examine why television and music do not associate with teen violence and explore some other possible factors.
How television violence associates with teen violence
Since television is almost the first visual media entertainment in the world, there has been extensive research on the relationship between television violence and violent behaviour among teenagers in the last five decades. (Centerwall. B, 1981; Eron L. & Huesmann R.,1982; The National Institue of Mental Health(NIMH), 1982; Tangey & Feshbach, 1988; Centres for Disease Control and Prevention,1991; Huston E. 1992; American Psychological Assciation, 1993; American Medical Association, 1996; Smith & Donnerstein, 1998;) The impact of violent television on teenagers first floated up as a social issue in the 1950s. Researchers first observed how children reacted to violent television programmes. The result showed that aggressive behaviour was more likely to be developed and shown in those children who had watched violent shows than those who viewed non-violent shows.
In 1981, Brandon Centerwall judged that television was the main factor that led to the significant rise of murder rates in the States in 1950s. He then compared the murder rates between America and South Africa in order to further prove his presumption was correct. Television was forbidden in South Africa before 1975. Mr Centerwall discovered that the murder rates in South Africa also increased drastically twelve years after the introduction of television. The resemblances shared by these two murder rates helped prove that television causes violent behaviour after the introduction of television in these two countries.
Leonard Eron and Rowell Huesmann (1983) examined the association between violent television and aggressive behaviour among children, teenagers and adults in 1960-1982. Their study aimed at showing how violent programmes not only influenced a child’s behaviour in their childhood, but also in adolescence and even adulthood. A group of eight-year-old kids was inspected. The researchers observed that those who watched the most violent television were the most...