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Children Living with Violence - Essay Example

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Violence in the media has come under a lot of scrutiny lately. Even though this is not a new concern, it has resurfaced as the pinnacle of many debates among politicians, parents and educators. Children are progressively becoming more aggressive. This is in direct correlation to violence becoming more prominent among adults…
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Children Living with Violence
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Children Living with Violence

Download file to see previous pages... The media distributors need to stop mass producing and distributing violence to children. Until executives at television, music, and video game companies stop this mass production of violence, this horrific trend of violent children will continue.
Young children tend to be easily influenced by media for a variety of reasons. Children learn what is acceptable or unacceptable by what the media portrays as opposed to what the child's parents are teaching (Anderson, Dill, 2002:773). According to Swearer and Doll (2001:25) "parents are no longer the strongest influential partner in a child's life; it is the media personalities that children utilize to model acceptable or in some cases unacceptable behavior. Movies, music and video games demonstrate that it is acceptable to murder or harm others." The mass media also fails to follow through with the fact that a small child can not comprehend the ramifications of being injured during a violent act; it actually hurts and you may not survive (Swearer, Doll, 2001:25). Small children in fact, have difficulty differentiating between reality and fantasy. Many young children who have been brought into emergency facilities for treatment from these media encouraged accidents tend to express with shock that their injuries actually hurt. These children feel invincible. They believe you can get shot, stand up, and go on with your day (Grapes, 2000). Children also have a need to emulate, by emulating a figure; they learn. When parents are not involved and the media is raising children, it is natural for the child to emulate the media personalities. One of the largest problems with children emulating media figures is that there never seems to be ramifications for the actions. Children do not see that the bullet really hurts; instead, they see the bullet hit a personality who does not appear to be in pain (Grapes, 2000).
Children in general tend to be more emotionally upset by media violence than adults (Steyer, 2002). If a child views something that is overly traumatic, the child may feel a paralytic sense of fear (Steyer, 2002). This is due to children being unable to distinguish what is real and what is fantasy (Steyer, 2002). This is the same principle that the child is scared of a monster in the closet, the child knows that the monster isn't there but they still have the immature reasoning ability to differentiate that the monster is fantasy and the closet is reality (Anderson, Dill, 2002:775).
"With all this knowledge, what is being seen is an increased number of children who have been exposed to violent media becoming more aggressive or violent in young adulthood" (Huesmann, Moise-Titus, Podoiski, 2003). As children become more violent, the risk for unintentional injuries increases (Gilk, D., Kinsler, J., Todd, W., Clarke, L., Fazio, K., Miyashiro, R., et al.). These trends cross all socio-economic boarders and include all children (Grapes, 2000). The one constant in all the studies conducted on these media violence studies is that the more time a child spends involved with a violent form of media, the more aggressive the child becomes. One particular study followed children from childhood to adulthood. The children who ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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