The Effect of Media Influences on Children

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The Effect of Media Influences on Youth
Natasha Wiseman
San Diego City College

Abstract
This paper explores the effects of media influences on socialization of children. I will discuss the effects of media influences on body image, aggression and sexual behavior in children. The increasing thinness of models in the media are leading our youth to unhealthy eating habits, violence is opening doors to reenactments of violent acts seen in the media and sexual attitudes of teens in TV show are leading to youth who are relaxed in thought of sexual activity. All these things combined are socializing our youth. They are becoming a society of youth who are numb to societal norms.

The media can have a negative influence on the life of children. Unrealistic situations in movies, magazines and television shows glamorize potentially destructive body images, increases aggressive behavior and foster a relaxed attitude toward sexual relationships. Directly and indirectly the media is hugely influencing children. “Thin is in” is the image that is exhibited to our youth. The excessive use of violence in movies and video games desensitize our youth to the point of destructive aggression. Teens are being portrayed as popular because they are sexually active sending the message that promiscuity is cool. All of these influences are lending a hand in the socialization of today’s youth.

The media has been projecting the image of women being thin as perfect. Television shows geared toward young adults exemplify thin men and women in a positive fashion. Those that do not fit the media image of thin are represented in an undesirable manner. Although at times not blatant, these attitudes began to shape how our youth perceive their body images as well as that of others. These influences lead today’s youth to take extreme measures to look like the images they see on the movie screen, in magazines and on their favorite shows. Prime examples are the principal characters...
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