Sources of Violence
And The Effect It Has On Our Children
There is far too much violence in our world today. Violence is surfacing in our children as young as 8 or 9, with children killing other children for no reason. This brings up the question of why our children are exhibiting violent behavior and committing terrible acts of violence. Our world has become a breeding ground for violence and our children are at risk. Everywhere our children look they are seeing horrific acts of brutality. Take this scenario for example: You are sitting at home, having dinner with the family around the television set. It is around 6:00 p.m. and you all are watching the local news. News clips of murder, kidnapping, terrorism, sexual assault, and arson are whipping by the screen. Your children are almost mesmerized by the reports of this violence. Or, your child is walking home from school and witnesses two kids fighting on the playground. These are only two sources of violence that our children have in their lives, but there are several types. They can range from domestic violence in the home to violence in video games. Most people do not realize that all of these different forms of violence affect our children on countless levels. They become desensitized and are in some cases acting out what they are or have been exposed to. It is almost like they have become accustomed to the fact that violence is in most aspects of their lives, like it is the way it is supposed to be. There is good news though; we can prevent this atrocity from happening to our children. It begins by knowing what forms it takes, how our children gain access, and what we can do to prevent further exposure. One of the most profound forms of violence that our children are exposed to is from the media. The media is continually showing movies with explicit violent scenes, newscasts riddled with death, and television shows that seem to have no boundaries. According to Nielson Media Research the average child spends 28 hours per week watching television, which is twice as much as they are in school. They also state that children will be exposed to 200,000 acts of violence on television before they are 18. This study was conducted on children's cartoons, not on regular programming . These numbers are staggering. Because our children spend so much time watching television, they are more likely to have increased violent behavior with either their peers or their family. Part of the reason that violence in the media is so influential on our youth is that they soak up what they see and hear. It becomes a learned behavior. They believe that what they are seeing in the media is the way life should be, and they sometimes act on those learned behaviors. The second source of violence is in the form of video games. This has become one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the United States for our children. They depict horrific acts of violence, whether it is from blowing the head off of an enemy with an automatic rifle to running over people with a car. In a recent study, researchers examined 357 seventh and eighth graders. They were asked what type of game they like to play. "The two most preferred categories were games that involved fantasy violence, preferred by almost 32% of subjects; and sports games, some of which contained violent subthemes, which were preferred by more than 29%. Nearly 20% of the students expressed a preference for games with a general entertainment theme, while another 17% favored games that involved human violence. Fewer than 2% of the adolescents preferred games with educational content." These statistics gained from the study show that most children enjoy the games with violent content. The exposure that our children are facing from playing these violent video games is bound to have negative results on the way the interact both with others and their environment. When they are playing these games, they are...
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