The Effects of Television Violence on Children
What has the world come to these days? It often seems like everywhere one looks, violence rears its ugly head. We see it in the streets, back alleys, school, and even at home. The last of these is a major source of violence. In many peoples' living rooms there sits an outlet for violence that often goes unnoticed. It is the television, and the children who view it are often pulled into its realistic world of violence scenes with sometimes devastating results. Much research has gone into showing why children are so mesmerized by this big glowing box and the action that takes place within it. Research shows that it is definitely a major source of violent behavior in children. The research proves time and time again that aggression and television viewing do go hand in hand.
The truth about television violence and children has been shown. Some are trying to fight this problem. Others are ignoring it and hoping it will go away. Still others don't even seem to care. However, the facts are undeniable. The studies have been carried out and all the results point to one conclusion: Television violence causes children to be violent and the effects can be life- long.
The information can't be ignored. Violent television viewing does affect children. The effects have been seen in a number of cases. In New York, a 16-year-old boy broke into a cellar. When the police caught him and asked him why he was wearing gloves he replied that he had learned to do so to not leave fingerprints and that he discovered this on television. In Alabama, a nine-year-old boy received a bad report card from his teacher. He suggested sending the teacher poisoned candy as revenge as he had seen on television the night before. In California, a seven-year-old boy sprinkled ground-up glass into the 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). These are certainly startling examples of how television can affect the child. It must be pointed out that all of these situations were directly caused by children watching violent television.
Not only does television violence affect the child's youth, but it can also affect his or her adulthood. 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). Television violence can destroy a young child's mind. The effects of this violence can be long-lasting, if not never-ending.
For some, television at its worst, is an assault on a child's mind, an insidious influence tat upsets moral balance and makes a child prone to aggressive behavior as it warps his or her perception of the real world. Other see television as an unhealthy intrusion into a child's learning process, substituting easy pictures for the discipline of reading and concentrating and transforming the young viewer into a hypnotized nonthinker (Langone 48).
As you can see, television violence can disrupt a child's learning and thinking ability which will cause life long problems. If a child cannot do well in school, his or her whole future is at stake.
Why do children like the violence that they see on television? "Since media violence is much more vicious than that which children normally experience, real-life aggression appears bland by comparison" (Dorr 127). The violence on television is...
Cited: Langone, John. Violence. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1984.
Cheyney, Glenn Alan. Television in American Society. New York:
Franklin Watts Co., 1983.
Howe, Michael J. A. Television and Children. London: New
University Education, 1977.
Door, Palmer. Children and the Faces of Television. New York:
Academic Press, 1980.
Carter, Douglass. T.V. Violence and the Child. New York: Russel
Sage Foundation, 1977.
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