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The Effects of Televised Violence on Children
Today, American children watch an average of three to four hours of television daily, which averages out to be twenty-eight hours per week. Many people may not be aware of how powerful an influence Television is on developing values and forming behavioral patterns in children's lives. Sadly, much of today's television programs are violent.
Children age eight and under are effected the most by these acts of violence seen on TV daily. This age is very crucial in a child's development; they are learning social behavior that will stay with them throughout their lives. At this age, small children have trouble distinguishing between fantasy and reality. Studies have shown that here is when they begin to form their beliefs about aggression. These TV shows are sending the message to children across America that yes, violence is acceptable and that no one is willing to stop it.
We need to realize that small children see these cartoon characters, WWF wrestlers, and super heroes as role models, they want to be just like them. My own seven year old cousin had his forehead split open after his friend decided to hit him over the head with a fold-up chair, which is done on WWF by one of their wrestlers. His friend's response was that the man on TV never ends up hurt. This is why we need to view these shows through the eyes of a child, we know and understand that it is so fake and far fetched on TV for anyone to believe that there is any truth in it that we many times assume that young children do to. Unfortunately they don't and if they continue to watch this violence on TV only more and more children are going to end up with split foreheads, if not worse. Studies have also shown that young girls who often watched TV shows featuring aggressive heroines in the 1970s have grown up to be more aggressive adults involved in more confrontations, shoving matches, chokings, and knife fights than woman who watched fewer or none of these shows.
According to psychological research, violence on television negatively affects children. Hundreds of studies of the effects of televised violence on children have found that children may:
"h Become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others
"h May become fearful of the world around them
"h Gradually accept violence as a way of life or a way to solve problems
"h Imitate the violence they observe, or identify with certain characters, victims and/or victimizers
"h They may also be more likely to behave in aggressive ways towards others
Sometimes, watching a single violent program can increase aggressiveness. Many times when children view programs where the violence is quite realistic or those who act in such violence go unpunished, they are more likely to imitate what they have just seen. Here are just a few tragic examples of what children are learning from televised violence.
In 1982 when the movie the Deer Hunter was broadcasted on cable TV, shortly after several people had killed themselves while playing a game known as Russian roulette which involves a gun, this "game" had been featured in the movie. Not to long ago several American youths died while imitating a scene in the movie the Program, a movie financed by Disney. In this movie the youths laid themselves down in the middle of a highway. However, in the movie no one was killed, unfortunately in real-life several young people were killed. Even more recent a 17-year-old French youth blew himself up. He was trying to make himself a bomb with a bicycle handle; he had learned how to do this on an episode of MaGyver. Then there is the 5-year-old boy who killed his younger sister in a house fire after watching an episode of Beavis and Butthead. These are just a few examples of what TV violence is doing to America today. Assume that for the sake of argument, that every copycat crime reported in the media can be plausibly is traced to TV and the movies. If you were able to make an extremely high estimate those resulting carnage results in 100 deaths per year that would not otherwise have taken place. These would amount to 0.28 percent of the total of 36,000 murders, acciden
Technology mentioned in this term paper
Names referenced in this report
Dr. Wilson., Beavis, Joanne Cantor, Bandura,
Organizations talked about in this research material
National Television Violence Association, WWF, University of Wisconsin,
Locations mentioned in this essay
United States, America, Madison,
Companies included in this paper
Disney, Bandura, Ross & Ross,
Keywords talked about in this paper
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