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Violence in the 20th century has proven to be an increasing social problem. Younger and younger youths are expressing themselves by committing the most heinous crimes. With this rise in youth related violence, society as a whole has begun to point the finger. Everyone and everything under the sun has been placed under the proverbial spotlight. Our quickness to place the blame and resolve the problem promptly has resulted in blaming one major aspect of society in America. The Entertainment Industry has been singled out as the number one cause of violent behavior. By placing the blame solely on media, we are disregarding thousands of different social problems and regarding any "study" as true testament. In order to come to grips with this problem we must, as a whole, recognize and evaluate every aspect of what causes violence. In doing so, we will find that the media is not the leading cause of reality based violence, but a combination of many different factors.
With the introduction of media and with the introduction of television in 1945, the world has been united in a very beneficial way. As the years progressed, events of the world have been able to be broadcast around the globe. Last nights problems in China are now known around the world. Famine and disease in third world countries are affecting people half way around the globe. As televisions became increasingly more popular and were becoming much more prevalent in the common household, the increase of homicides in the United States increased. A study performed, showed that from 1945 to 1974, homicide rates increased 93% in the United States. The same survey proved almost the same in Canada as well. This new type of media had the same effect on society, as did the radio. Families would gather around their radios and listen to captivating programs. This family gathering brought unity to family life and brought to a close a long arduous day. Television had the same effect as well. People could now put a face to what they heard. Bigger and better television programs caught the attention of many and thus brought about the problems we are facing as a nation today. Media certainly has had a profound effect on its viewers and listeners from day one. Before television, the radio mesmerized millions, and even before that, newspapers. One such radio program in the 1930's proved astonishingly well, that it had a certain hold on its listening audience. On the evening of October 30th 1938 thousands of listeners tuned into an Orson Wells program entitled, "Mercury Theater on the air" in which an alien invasion was being broadcast. Unbeknownst to many of its audience members, this particular program was, in fact, fiction. Merely broadcast for entertainment value. Thousands of people took this as fact and chaos broke out nationwide. This particular situation proves that media, even in its infancy, had a very costly effect on its listeners.
People who believe that media violence is the number one source of society based violence can utilize many statistics and facts to back their stance. Certain violent movies have been blamed for "real life" violence. John Hinckley's attempt to assassinate the President in 1981 was inspired by the violent movie, "Taxi Driver". Television is one of the first sources of media violence that children come across. It is both powerful and pervasive. Visual images on television or the big screen have a great impact on society. Millions of dollars are spent on advertisements, because the advertising industry knows the type of impact images have on the consumers. Movies and television are very similar. Movies and television sell the idea of violence instead of selling products. Movies and television bring a fantasy world into the homes of millions day in and day out. The programs often show behavior and actions that are inspirational to its audience. A common reason media violence affects minors the way it does is that children are great imitators. Children often imitate television heroes and superstars who outsmart the "bad guy". With fiery explosions and trail blazing car chases, children see this as the "good" thing to do. These so called heroes or "good guys" are imitated much more frequently than Martin Luther King, the President of the United States or Ghandi. Children are fascinated with the hero's actions, usually violent, more than his appearance or catch phrase. As children develop and mature, they will have seen countless hours of television. The average person in the United States watches close to 4 hours of television a day. This constant bombardment of images over a course of many years will affect anyone in one way or another. But does it lead to high school massacres and other grisly crimes? The American Psychological Association stated, "that by seventh grade the average child has seen seven thousand murders and one hundred thousand acts of violence on television". After years of exposure, children's level of sym
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a very good Christian All-American boy, John Hinckley, Martin Luther King, Beverly Hilton, Yosemite Sam, Stuart, Aletha C. Huston, Stuart Fischoff, Levinson, Ward, Reale,
Organizations referenced in this paper
Oklahoma Coalition, American Psychological Association, Columbine High school, University of Kansas, American Psychological Association’s Task Force,
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Taxi Driver, Saving Private Ryan,
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United States, Canada, China, America, South Bronx, Columbine, Los Angeles,
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