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Changing the Channel - A Solution for Television Violence - Essay Example

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Changing the Channel – A Solution for Television Violence? Violence, blood, aggression, conflict and guns are all increasing as themes within television programming (Anderson et al. 2003). They are used as methods of drawing the attention of viewers, but at what cost?…
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Changing the Channel - A Solution for Television Violence

Download file to see previous pages... Already, many children spend more time watching television than they do playing with friends, being outside or involved in other stimulating activity. Recent studies, reviews, watchdog groups and many others suggest that the high prevalence of violence that is present on television is directly promoting aggression and violence in real life. Television critic Tim Goodman argues that while television has the potential to have a large impact on violence and aggression, the full blame does not rest on the media but on the parents. If they do not want their children exposed to violence then the most simple and effective solution is to turn off the television. This essay argues that this viewpoint does not offer an effective method of solving the problem, instead it is like ignoring the crisis and assuming that if we do not pay attention to what is happening then it will not affect us. One type of program that showcases violence is wrestling. Here, violence is one of the main factors that drive individuals to watch the program, and it is widely popular among both children and adults. WWE’s Smack Down and RAW have sky rocketed in popularity in recent years. The slapping, kicking, fighting, screaming and throwing people out of the ring catch the interest of children and even adults. When the younger generation watches this brutality on television, with thousands of people praising, they perceive that it is something good. This concept is backed by Goodman, who argues that encouraging violence in this manner, and making it appear as something that is desirable increases the likelihood that the children will emulate this form of behavior. There are many cases I have witnessed where children in school have backyard fights in which they try to mimic their favorite wrestler’s stunts on others, using abusive language as they see in the shows. Even in the house, they play at wrestling or walk around acting as their favorite wrestling star; talking and walking like him. According to my observation it is usually the younger or weaker kids that are targeted. While Goodman argues that blaming the media for the behavior is unreasonable, and that parents can remedy this behavior by preventing children from watching programs such as wrestling, the reality is not as simple as this. It is not simple the act of observing the violence on television that causes children to emulate wrestling behavior, or aggressive behavior in general. Other factors include what children watch at their friend’s houses, what actions that their friends do, and the fact that the violence and aggression is encouraged in many different forms of media. As a consequence, changing the channel or turning off the television does not appear to be a suitable tactic to prevent children from emulating aggressive behavior, or from learning that aggressive behavior is good and encouraged. Rather, this responsibility falls onto the parents. Whether children consider that violence and aggression is something to be encouraged comes from the opinions and lessons that are taught by the parents. Parents have a responsibility to themselves and when they observe this kind of solution it just shows how responsible they are towards their job. Turning off the television or switching the channel cannot assure that the child will not watch it later on or at a friend’s place. Chances are that they might even see it on the internet as now even ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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