Violence on Television Increases Violence in Children
In Little Colorado, two armed teenagers with semiautomatic weapons and explosives first killed 13 people at Columbine High school on April 20, 1999 and then took their own lives. …
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All these shootings and other violence by children and teenagers have opened a public debate concerning various issues. Some blamed the easy availability of weapons for the shootings while some focused on the problems of bullying and peer abuse in American High schools as the reason behind this violence. However, there were some researchers who looked beyond the obvious and pinpointed the media behind the increase in violence. In this paper, we shall debate on the controversial issue that violence on television increases the violence in children and teenagers and stand by it. According to a research, children in America watch four hours of television daily on an average which implies that television has a powerful influence in developing value systems and shaping behavior. But sadly, most of the programs broadcasted on television are violent nowadays. From the daytime talk shows, most of which are portrayed by unashamed emotional, psychosomatic, and corporeal exploitation by jury guests towards each other, to the prime time shows and the WCW (World Champion Wrestling), all these programs proliferate excessive violence and aggressiveness. Most of these programs are watched by a growing number of young children and adolescents who view them along with their parents. As the matter of fact, violence forms the key constituent of the Network news too, as most of it is plagued with explicit renderings of murders, traffic mishaps, kidnappings, international war scenes, and the like. The story is the same everywhere; the good people slaughter the bad people, most often with an arsenal of weapons that has become a humdrum possession for today's T.V. characters (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry [AACAP] n.pag.). This starts the debate that whether these television programs really affect our children or not. Various studies done to evaluate the impact of T.V. violence on children and teenagers have revealed that children are affected in different ways by these shows. They may become immune or dumb to the horror of violence, or gradually accept violence as the means to sort out problems, or try to imitate the violence shown on television, and identify with certain characters, victims and/or victimizers. Children who become violent watching such T.V. programs will show a range of behaviors including explosive temper tantrums, threats, bullying, aggressiveness, armed assault, and harm to animals and peer groups. In fact, a research done by psychologists L. Rowell Huesmann, Leonard Eron and others also revealed those children who watch long hours of brutal programs during elementary school level tend to show higher level of aggressive behavior when they become teens. They further found that eight years old children, who watch too much of television, are mostly the ones who get prosecuted for criminal behavior as adults (American Psychological Association [APA] n.pag.). Additionally, many children who are overexposed to violence, and specially, to pragmatic violence start judging the society as one which is, by and large, hazardous and perilous. This misjudgment makes them fearful towards life as they start considering themselves future victims of violence (AACAP n.pag.). However, researcher David Buckingham stated that “one may well discover that children who are violent watch a lot of television violence, but this does not prove that violent television causes real-life violence”
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They occupy a significant and central role in our daily routines and for better or for worse, the impact that mass media has on our lives today is huge considering how it modifies and effects our values, beliefs, behaviours and attitudes. However, the costs of one specific element of the mass media exposure has particularly had a unfavourable effect on viewers and others health.
What effect does this violence have in real life? As our exposure to television has increased, children and adults alike have turned to it as a source of entertainment in almost all situations. The high amount of time that people, especially our vulnerable children and youth, spend in front of the television has been a rising concern by adults and advocate groups.
(Watson & Martin, 2011). When asked, network owners retorted that the existing studies were inconclusive. After several decades, several government documents and a huge number of empirical studies present compelling evidence that television violence can have adverse impact on viewers (Grimes, Anderson, & Bergen, 2008).
The societal violence in the United States has enveloped family lives as well. Violence creeps quietly and firmly into living rooms via television and its contents. This source misguides its viewers in adopting unrealistic and cinematic use of violence in real life situations in homesteads and outside.
Parents and educators continue to stress that the damage violent media inflicts on children will continue into adulthood. Multiple studies have demonstrated that violent media makes violent adults. This problem is larger than just turning off the violence.
Identifying the causes of violence is one thing, determining who is at fault for the epidemic is another. Since early childhood people have grown accustomed to blaming their actions, or in some cases, inaction's, on any number of outside forces resting beyond their control.
Infrequent opposing outlooks are provided, such as the claims of Fowles (1999) that such violent scenes serve as liberating instances for the viewer, despite of age, “fantasy mayhem on the television screen—sometimes in the form of cartoons
The topic is interesting and relevant because the researches have also shown that the aggression in real life increases with the increase of violence shown in TV, cable etc. Children have become especially vulnerable target with shows like HitTVNext hit that
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