Children, Violence and the Media: A Report for Parents and Policy Makers

Topics: Violence / Pages: 13 (3176 words) / Published: May 2nd, 2013
Media Violence Causes Youth Violence

Table of Contents: Further Readings

Children, Violence, and the Media: A Report for Parents and Policy Makers, September 14, 1999.

The links between media violence and youth violence have been periodically explored by various U.S. government agencies, including congressional committees. In 1999, in the wake of a series of violent school shootings, the majority staff of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary prepared a report on media violence, excerpts of which form the following viewpoint. According to the committee, numerous research studies have shown that media violence has detrimental effects on the psychological development of children. Violence in television, motion pictures, and other media can cause children to be more violent, desensitized to violence, and fearful of the world.
As you read, consider the following questions: 1. How much violence are children exposed to by watching television, according to the authors? 2. In what ways do the authors contend that media violence can harm even young children? 3. What concerns do the authors express about violent lyrics in popular songs?
The statistics are chilling. In 1997, law enforcement agencies in the United States arrested an estimated 2.8 million persons under age 18. Of that number, an estimated 2,500 juveniles were arrested for murder and 121,000 for other violent crimes. According to the FBI, juveniles accounted for 19% of all arrests, 14% of all murder arrests, and 17% of all violent crime arrests in 1997.

While the number of arrests of juveniles for violent crimes declined slightly from 1996 to 1997, the number of juvenile violent crime arrests in 1997 was still 49% above the 1988 level.

James Q. Wilson, one of our foremost experts on crime, has observed, "Youngsters are shooting at people at a far higher rate than at any time in recent history." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC") reports that a survey showed that some

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