Television Effects

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College Argumentative Essay
Violence on Television Effects Children
There is no doubt that television has changed the world and how we view it. With just the point and click of a button, the viewing possibilities are endless. There are literally hundreds of channels to choose from. Cartoons, sitcoms, news, cooking shows, and music videos fill the airwaves. With so many viewing options, determining what we should be watching has become a great concern, especially when it comes to children. It is no wonder that cable and satellite providers have built in parental controls. Violent and aggressive acts abound on TV. Many times it is children who are viewing these acts. Some people believe that such viewing habits directly affect children. According to the Center for Media and Public affairs, "The typical American child will have witnessed 40,000 killings and 200,000 acts of violence on television", all by their 18th birthday (Media Violence 121). These statistics are shocking. It is no wonder that the question arises, what impact does viewing violence on television have on children? There has been overwhelming evidence that suggest viewing violent and aggressive behavior on television, does in deed directly affect children. Children are great imitators. Imaginary play and modeling their favorite characters are commonplace among the young. Children can and readily do imitate what they see. Just ask any parent whose child has learned their ABC's by watching Sesame Street. They will all tell you that their child watched Big Bird, Ernie and the other characters reciting the alphabet over and over. After repeated viewing their child began reciting their ABC's from memory. This act alone reinforces the idea, that through imitation and repeated exposure children can learn. Learning violence is no exception. It can be imitated and learned in the same manner as how the alphabet was committed to memory. The only difference is when children watch negative behavior, it is that negativity that they learn and mimic. It is not something as harmless as the ABC's. Authorities on child behavior agree that what a child watches does indeed affect their behavior. According to The American Academy of Child and Adolescence Psychiatry, "Extensive viewing of television violence by children causes greater aggressiveness" (Cook et al.). Desensitization can also play a roll in a child's negative behavior. It occurs when children become physically and emotionally unresponsive to the violence and aggression they see on television. It is a fact that people react both physically and emotionally when they experience an episode of violence. It is an involuntary response and occurs even if the event is real or being portrayed fictitiously. After repeated exposure to violence, the typical psychological and physical responses can cease (Media Violence 121). Desensitization to violence occurs when a child repeatedly views it on television. Children who continually view violence on TV become desensitized and no longer conceder violence in the realm of fear, and can readily accept it as common behavior. This in turn can impact a child in a way that will not hinder him or her from acting out violently or aggressively. Some people will argue that children actually learn morals and life lesson from some violence on television. In shows such as Power Rangers, Xmen and Justice League, the good guys always win and the bad guys are always punished. This idea helps children realize that bad acts are punishable. They will more often identify with the heroes in the story, and they themselves will aspire to be one of the good guys (Media Violence 53). There is no question that children can learn bad acts are punishable by watching the so-called good guys win. The problem is it also teaches the children how to handle the wrong doings by the bad guys. More often or not there is a huge battle between good and evil being portrayed on the screen. Those that are identified as...
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