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TV shows and movies typically inform and entertain viewers, and try to persuade them to buy products. However, while entertaining viewers, they routinely depict violence, a common staple used in delivering media's message. The appalling fact is that these violent shows are impacting youth and endangering society.
Youth violence has increasingly become an apparent part of modern living. Today there are more juvenile homicides, youths carrying weapons, and youth gang members than any other time during our history. This increase in violence is originating from somewhere, and one possible source may be the Television industry (Barbour S).
Violence on TV and in the movies are inspiring people to set their wives on fire, lie down in the middle of the road, rape, steal, murder, and commit shootings. More than 1,000 studies have suggested that media violence can have a negative affect on adults and even children. (Mudore) When some teens watch these shows it makes them more aggressive and anti-social. After prolonged viewing of these shows, even for only several days, people can become less sensitive to violence, to its victims, and to its consequences. Once this occurs it may take more violence to satisfy their demand for what they believe to be entertainment and in real life.
Violence can be viewed in cartoons, soap operas and prime time shows. Statistics have proven that children have increased television viewing while television has increased in violence. The average child sees 8,000 murders and 10,000 acts of violence such as, rape, shooting, fights, and battle before finishing elementary school, and by the age of eighteen a youngster will see 20,000 acts of murder and 40,000 acts of violence. (Mudore). Television violence is increasing at an alarming rate. Violent acts on television in the past decade have increased eight percent, while educational programs have only increased by three percent, which means that the amount of violent programming and viewing violent programming is twice that of educational programs.
An analysis of children shows with action versus educational shows "that educational programs for children on average earn lower ratings than non-educational shows in both the broadcast network market and the syndicated children's market. For the 1993 fall season the mean rating among children ages 2-11 for broadcast network educational shows was 3.3 hours, verses 5.4 hours for the other children's programs on the networks. Low ratings translate into lower rate adds" (Hamilton p.77). This information indicates that the entertainment industry purposely shows more non-educational shows than educational shows to gain more profit. This would indicate that society is not focused on educating it's children, but instead on scaring them with violence.
Over one thousand studies have been published worldwide on violent entertainment and most experts now agree that the impact on viewers is largely negative. Violence has long lasting effects on children behavior. According to the Journal of American Medicine, at least 10 percent of all violent behavior in America's society is a result of viewing violence in movies and on television. (Rhodes) A study was compiled in 1984 on 145 boys ages 12-17 all who had never committed a crime. (Rhodes) They were exposed to television violence for six months. Their violent behavior was measured by asking the boys if they had committed any violent crimes in the last five months. The study showed that a little over half of the boys had committed a crime or had some sort of violent behavior.
Studies done by the American Journal of Medicine have found that children who watch more hours of violent television than the 4 hour a day average before their teenage years commit violent crimes like rape and assault at a rate of 49 percent higher than the boys who watched fewer than average hours of violent television (Rhodes). Television violence affects youngsters of all ages, both genders and all wealth levels and levels of intelligence.
A study conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) says television can cause children to commit violent acts or even teach them techniques. The APA estimated that 5 percent of assaults by children in urban areas in the United States is due to antisocial personalities, which television can produce and cause the children to commit a violent act or teach them how to commit the violent acts (Caron).
Sixty years ago television, or TV as it became known, was invented. People considered TV to be a technological curiosity. For some people,
Terminology mentioned in this term paper
news media, remote control, media industry,
Names mentioned in this paper
Caron, Hamilton, Rhodes, Robert Pitofsky, Sen. Joseph Lieberman,
Organizations referenced in this term paper
American Psychological Association, Federal Trade Commission, Journal of American Medicine, American Journal of Medicine, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation,
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America, United States,
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Keywords included in this research material
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