Most people in our society generally have the opinion that violence on television increases aggression in children and adolescents. Does it ? Who is to say whether television has a positively direct effect or a positive correlation ? However, the majority of the people who have researched this topic have discovered that violence on television is indeed one of the prime factors contributing to the increase in violent and aggressive behavior among the youth in society. That is to say "there has been a growth of strong evidence to suggest that television violence does play an important and contributory part in the learning of aggression." In other words, violence in the media helps promote and encourage children and adolescents to freely express their abusive behavior. As a result, the topic of my essay will help support the issue that violence in the media causes abusive behavior in youths. Furthermore, I will emphasize if their are any differences in aggressive behavior between the genders.
By nature when babies first begin to learn, they do so by imitating other people's behaviors. That is to say, "children are born ready to imitate adult behavior" because "much of human behavior is learned by observing another person's behavior and, in some cases, imitating it." One of the first imitation of a newborn baby is the imitation of adults' facial movements. For example, in the book Infant and Child, by Judith Rich Harris and Robert M. Liebert, "it shows a baby girl only six days old sticking out her tongue in imitation of her mother's actions." This clearly shows that from the moment a child is born, he or she is already learning from observing. Therefore, as the child grows up and starts watching television, the child can not distinguish between what is reality and what is fantasy. "In the minds of young children, television is a source of entirely factual information regarding how the world works." For instance, as a child I could remember imitating violent acts after watching violent movies such as Superman, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Rocky. It felt fun to imitate these so called heroes because it seemed like the characters in the movies were invincible. Moreover, the main characters in the movies were always liked and respected.
There are many other examples that confirm that people imitate violence scenes on television. For instance, the cartoon Beavis and Butthead on MTV in the United States was widely criticized for depicting the cartoon characters shaped like cigarettes. The cartoon also gained national attention when a young five year old fan from the United States set fire to his house after watching the show. This was due to the fact that in one of the episodes, Beavis and Butthead were going around setting fires to houses.
Furthermore, in a resent incident in Norway, two children beat another child by jumping and kicking the child in the head and other parts of her body numerous times. As a result, the child died from being left out in the cold because she was not able to move due to her injuries. Later the officials had discovered that the barbaric incident was due to the fact that the children had watched the violent cartoon Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The children thought that the girl would later get up because in the show the characters never die. Consequently, the show Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was canceled throughout Norway. In addition, YTV, a youth cable channel in Canada and also other television networks has recently canceled the show because it did not meet their standards.
Children are not the only ones who get influenced by violence in the media. Many times adolescents and young adults also mimic violence portrayed in the media. In another recent incident in the United States, a young man after seeing the movie Natural Born Killer starring Woody Harrelson shaved his head to look like the main character and shot his parents. This...