Television is the mainstream of our culture. Violence on television has been a topic of conflict since before 1950. There have been repeated debates on how to protect children from the harmful effects of violence on television. Television is one form of modern media that influences the everyday lives of people. Televised violence has a major effect on how children perceive the world and how they behave. "American television has become the most violent in the world. It is for this reason why researchers have focused their attention toward television violence" (Cantor & Hoffner 424-4-25). Children enjoy watching television and now with the increased technology of cable and movie rentals, shows have become readily accessible to children of all ages. "Television violence affects children of all ages, all socio-economic levels, and all levels of intelligence" (Eron 1992). Not only has the number of television shows increased, but also the amount of violence within television shows. Television can be a powerful influence in d... Television and Violence
One of the increasing problems in today`s society is the violence caused by watching too much television. In 1950`s only 10% of American households had television, but today that number reached higher levels and 99% of households own one or more. Television is most of the time amusement and entertainment for many young people, especially children. Television itself has an impact on everyone. Some researches show that television has good sides and that can be entertaining and educational at the same time, where children learn more about cultures, places, and they use their knowledge when it`s necessary. Yet we need to remember that only certain programs are carrying positive messages which affect children positively. On the other hand the negative impact of television is most likely to dominate. Many research showed how television programs negatively affect children and their behavior. Not only that but it also affects children`s grades, sleep, activities and lot more. Moreover, children, who are exposed to television programs showing violence, are most lik. The Effects of Violence on Television
What has our society come to these days? Everywhere we look, violence is present; in the streets, back alleys, school, and even at home. Even if one might be a pacifist, violence will seep its way into our homes through the television. Some children that see violence on television are pulled into its harmful deceptions of problem solving.
Scientists have tried to explain why children are so amused by a big glowing box and the action that takes place within it. Research shows that television is a major source of violence for children. This research shows us that violence appeals to every audience, including children.
The effects have been seen in a number of cases. One example, from Alabama, was when a nine-year-old boy received a bad report card from his teacher. He suggested to one of his friends that he send the teacher poisoned candy as revenge. He had seen the same scenario on television the night before. In California, a 7 year old boy sprinkled ground-up glass into the lamb stew the family was to eat for dinner. When asked why he did it he replied that he wanted to see if the results would be the same in real life as they were on television (Howe 72). Some people might not accept a child’s diversion of blame, but it must be pointed out that all of children claimed to have seen a similar act on television. We should not hold television directly responsible for these acts, but understand that it is television that plants a violent seed in the minds of these children.
Some psychologists and psychiatrists feel that continued exposure to such violence might unnaturally speed up the impact of the adult world on the child. This can force the child into a kind of premature maturity. As the child matures into an adult, he can become bewildered, have a greater distrust towards others, a superficial approach to adult problems, and even an unwillingness to become an adult (Carter 14).
Others see television as an unhealthy imposition into a child’s learning process, substituting easy pictures for the discipline of reading and concentrating and transforming the young viewer into a hypnotized non-thinker (Langone 48). As you can see, television violence can disrupt a child’s learning and thinking ability, which will cause life long problems.
The television violence can cause actual violence in a number of ways. As explained above, after viewing television violence the world becomes bland in comparison. The child needs to create violence to keep himself satisfied (Dorr 127).
Another reason why television violence causes violence in children is apparent in the big cities. Aggressive behavior was more acceptable in the city, where a child’s popularity rating with classmates was not hampered by his or her aggression (Huesmann 166).
Scientists have all found one thing in common; violence in the media does have an effect on its viewers. Such results have been obtained in a survey of London schoolchildren in 1975. Greensberg found a significant relationship between violence viewing and aggression (Dorr 160), Children who had just seen commercial violence accepted much higher levels of aggression than other children. The results were published in a report. A Surgeon General’s report found some preliminary indications of a casual relationship between television viewing and aggressive behavior in children (Langone 50).
In other research among U.S. children it was discovered that aggression, academic problems, unpopularity with peers and violence feed off each other. This promotes violent behavior in the children (Huesmann 166). The child watches violence which causes aggression. The combination of aggression and continued television viewing lead to poor academic standings.
In yet another piece of research children who watch a lot of violent television were compared to children who don’t. The results were that the children who watched more violent television were more likely to agree that it’s okay to hit someone if you’re mad at them for a good reason. The other group learned that problems can be solved passively, through discussion and authority (Cheyney 46).
Perhaps the most important way to prevent children from watching television violence is to stop it where it starts. The parents should step in and turn the set off when a violent program comes on. The parents are the child’s role models from which he learns. If he can learn at an early age that violence on television is appalling, then he can turn the set off for himself when he is older. Education should start in the home.
In conclusion, violence on television proves to be a root of violence in Young America. There are many examples and proven research that shows how violence viewed on television uproots all over our country. There will never be a law passed, or a set end to this problem. Only when we decide to put and end to this problem as an individual will we begin to see a more peaceful America.
1. Carter, Douglass. T.V. Violence and the Child. New York: Russel Sage Foundation, 1977.
2. Cheyney, Glenn Alan. Television in American Society. New York: Franklin Watts Co., 1983.
3. Door, Palmer. Children and the Faces of Television. New York: Academic Press, 1980.
4. Howe, Michael J. A. Television and Children. London: New University Education, 1977.
5. Husemann, L. Rowell. ÒSocial Channels Tune T.V.Õs effects.Ó Science News 14 Sept. 1985: 166.
6. Langone, John. Violence. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1984
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