top-rated free essay

The Effect of Media Influences on Children

By Smilegoldn Feb 08, 2013 1045 Words
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 on “The Wizards of Waverly Place”. This is a program aired on the Disney Channel, a channel gear toward young adults. On “Wizards of Waverly Place” Alex Russo is the central character, she is played by actress Selena Gomez. Alex is a teen who is seen as pretty, popular and fashionable. She is always getting into trouble; however she always comes out on top. This character is depicted as the perfect teenager whose problems are easily solved by flashing a smile. On the contrary from the same show is Harper, Alex’s best friend. Although the actress who plays harper has a body image that can be seen on the average teenager, she is seen as overweigh and awkward. Her only significances is that she is the friend of the much more popular and thin Alex. Harper’s character is designed around the fact that she is overweight, unsuccessful and always associated with food. This character is an example of the statement, “When fat people show up TV, they aren’t usually serious people but are either comics (the jolly fat person)… (Fraser, 1997). Teens are lead to believe that they cannot be successful unless that they fit into the media image of thin. This ideas that the only way to be popular and happy is to be extremely thin has led to teens developing severe eating disorders.

The media is giving our children unrealistic views of life. It provides a constant diet of media violence. This exposure to violence in the media makes youth impassive to the horror of violence. The more they are exposed to this glorified violence the more aggressive they may become. As the violence becomes more realistic the impact on our youth is greater. The violence shown is always inconsequential and never shows the effects that it has on the victims. “Violent video games provide a forum for learning and practicing aggressive solutions to conflict situations” (Anderson, 2002). As our children continue to see these violent acts they develop ideas that violence is the way to solve conflict. Youth began to take these images and bring then to the real world. This is evident in the incidence that occurred in Long Island, New York. In 2008, six teenagers started a two hour long crime spree in which they committed a violent mugging, several break-ins and thefts before finally being caught after a carjacking attempt (Crowley 2008). Authorities reported that the teens were duplicating the actions of Niko Belic, the thuggish protagonist from the video game ‘‘Grand Theft Auto IV.’’ This event represents an example of how violence in the media can promote violence in real life.

During adolescence sexual attitudes begin to take form. During this time the media acts as a type of sexual super peer for teens seeking answers to their questions about sex. These media images become the standard that they sex their sexual behavior. Sexual encounters are shown with sporadic uses of contraception if any. Sex lives of the teens they see on TV, in films and music depict sex as casual fun. Youth begin to believe that sex is a no risk activity where protection is not necessary. This inconsistent use of contraception and relaxed view of teen sex encourages them to become sexually active without thought to protection against disease.

Children have been found to copy naturally. Research has shown that as early as 14 months old children will imitate actions they see on television. It is only natural that as children develop they will continue to model their behavior after images they see in the media. The areas impacted by these media influences include body image, aggressive behavior and sexual behavior.

Anderson, Craig A., Ph. D, Dill, Karen E., Ph. D. Video Games and Aggressive thoughts Feelings And Behavior In The Laboratory And In Life Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology Vol. 78, No. 4 Retrieved April 3, 2012 from: URL www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2000/04/video-game.aspx

Crowley, K. (2008). Video villains come to life. New York Post, 26 June 2008. Retrieved March 28, 2012 from: URL http://www.nypost.com/seven/06262008/news/regionalnews/video_villains_come_to_life_117336.htm. Accessed 30 June 2008.

Fictional Character I love, Part 2: Harper Finkle. [blog] (2010). Retrieved April 16, 2012, from: URL (virtualiansanity.blogspot.com/2010/09/fictional-characters-I-love-part-2.html)

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Media Violence and the Effects on Children

    ...Does media violence have a negative effect on children? On September 11th, 2001, millions around the world crowded around televisions across the globe, watching the horrific scenes of terrorism that had struck New York City, Washington, D.C and Pennsylvania on that ill-fated and now infamous morning. Our sense of security and impenetrable...

    Read More
  • Effects of Media on Children

    ...OF MEDIA ON CHILD The Effects of Media Violence Ajantha PSY1011 Critical Thinking Assignment 1 Due Date: Apr 8th, 2013 Tutor: Your Tutor’s Name Lab: Day and time of lab PART 1: Does exposure to media violence increase an individual's likelihood of engaging in violent behavior? Source 1: Huesmann, L. R., Moise-Titus, J., Podol...

    Read More
  • Effects of Media Violence on Children

    ...EFFECTS OF MEDIA VIOLENCE ON CHILDREN The media can have a powerful influence on young, impressionable children. Growing up in the United States, a predominately richer country, most families own television sets and radios. Many children choose to spend their free time watching or listening to music on iPods or mp3 players. However, many...

    Read More
  • Media Violence: the Effect on Children

    ...MEDIA VIOLENCE: LEADING CAUSE OF VIOLENT AND AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR IN YOUNG CHILDREN Introduction For many years, media violence has been a popular topic in terms of its influence over children. Exposure to violence can have significant effects on children during their development and as they form their own intimate relationships in childhood ...

    Read More
  • Media: a Negative Influence on Children

    ...Media: A Negative Influence on Children Danielle James ENG 122 English Composition II Instructor: Hope Umansky December 2, 2012 Media: A Negative Influence on Children Popular media has begun a spiraling downfall. Television shows, movies, and music videos are becoming more provocative and inappropriate. Most importantly, they are ina...

    Read More
  • Media Influence on Children

    ...The influence of violent media on children and adolescents: a public-health approach Lancet 2005; 365: 702–10 Centre for Forensic and Family Psychology, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, UK (Prof K D Browne PhD, C Hamilton-Giachritsis PhD) Correspondence to: Prof Kevin Browne, Centre for Forensic and Family Psychology, School o...

    Read More
  • The Effect of Violence in the Media on Children

    ...Television, movies, and video games are a big part of children's lives in today's technologically advanced society. However, there is a big controversy questioning the effects of these media outlets on children. Much of society claims to have proof for the belief that media violence affects children negatively. However, I am skeptical of the ...

    Read More
  • The Effects of Electronic Media on Children

    ...Media on Children 1 The Effects of Electronic Media on Children Feng Sai Guided Research 110A Teacher: Maurice Williams November 10, 2010 Media on Children 2 Introduction Children now have much easier access to media than ever before—and to a much wider variety of content of the media. Researchers have shown that, until the ...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.