Increased television usage along with increased television violence causes in children violent tendencies in an attempt to duplicate what they see on television, creating youth violence. Nowadays, television usage, especially in children, has skyrocketed. In television, violence seems like a good way to end a conflict between people, and most of those who use violence are highly rewarded for their violent behavior.
Children are ought to believe that in reality violence is the way to end conflict and that in doing so they need to be rewarded instead of corrected. There is a fine but real line between what is healthy and not in television for children to watch, with big prosecutions that in the long run include police involvement, jail, and ultimately death. Furthermore, death is not only one of the causes of youth violence; in present time death is also the most common.
If none of the above statements made against media violence have been convincing, this should at least be shocking to most. How is it possible that living in a society where we call ourselves superior and modernly developed, acts of violence account for the most part of youth deaths? And not only that but nothing is done to change this pattern. These aggressive imitation soon outgrow from just play to real case scenarios when the children grow up, causing atrocious effects. Media violence and its consequences are real and tangible.
And more often than not children are exposed to media violence for constant, long, unsupervised periods of time mainly through television. Parents of children who regularly watch television unsupervised should take into account the harsh persecutions that television might have on children in the long and short run. In fact in the public domain, it is difficult to find material that is not linked to violence in some form. Those who are worried by this development also point out that the negative examples provided by the media are not balanced by a positive view.
Criminals are often seen as daredevil and debonair or are presented so as to arouse sympathy. The so-called 'heroes' in TV series and films, be they Dirty Harry, the Power Rangers, Butch Cassidy or the Mighty Ducks, are frequently violent and tend to take the law into their own hands.
Not only this, the situations are often so contrived that the hero apparently has no other choice but to turn to violence to solve his problem. Thus, success in media terms means achieving a goal by means of violence and crime, so people naturally see this means as an acceptable alternative for achieving what they want too. Since the media depicts violence as a normal state of affairs and an acceptable problem-solving option, this is seen as inevitably leading to a lowering of the threshold to committing violence and crime.
It does not stop here, for film, television and the popular press even offer ideas for ways to commit crime and violent acts. Indeed, the detail given and emotional involvement evoked in film in particular even provide ideas as to how to carry out certain crimes. A prime example is the recent report of a the high school massacre in Littleton in the United States, where the teenage killers wore trench coats and mowed down their victims in a manner reminiscent of scenes from a popular film.
The teenagers and children of today are immersed in the media, and children above all are particularly susceptible to its influence, as they are not yet in a position to be able to distinguish adequately between reality and fantasy. They grow up experiencing violent acts being committed daily in cartoons, in films and on the news, so it is not surprising if they believe that violent behaviour is normal behaviour. They copy this dangerous and unacceptable behaviour and assimilate dangerous and unacceptable values.
Nevertheless, there are voices which challenge the assumption that violence in the media is the cause of increased violence in society. They would say that society itself was to blame as a result of the social pressure and social change people must face. Modern society subjects individuals to an array of pressures such as the lack of perspective for young people, the threat of unemployment or homelessness, as well as the necessity to succeed in economic terms and terms of status.
Furthermore, there is a lacking sense of responsibility and a tendency to pass the blame. Individualism and materialism leave little room for the fulfilment of emotional needs. This situation is coupled with the inability of the individuals themselves to cope with new social and economic situations such as divorce or the changing demands of the workplace. Once caught up in a cycle of strife, people frequently find themselves unable to seek or find help. They are trapped in an anonymous and seemingly uncaring world.
As a result, feelings of frustration, despair or aggression build up until they can no longer be contained and are then suddenly, horrifically and vicariously released. There is also the suggestion that the society 'outside' is not the only source of concern, that in fact a great deal of blame lies at the feet of thoughtless or irresponsible parents.
Parental guidance is said to be lacking because parents do not supervise their children enough to guide their emotional and moral development. Very often the much-berated media is employed as a babysitter: TV and video games keep the children and teenagers occupied and out of the way.
Although almost everyone would agree that children who view violence in media might turn out to be violent in their real lives, this cannot be the only factor that must be considered when drawing such a conclusion. That is to say that some of the evidence that has been gathered from the laboratory experiments and other correlational research tend to point otherwise. According to some researchers, this was especially true when the violence was rewarded Bandura et al. Andison found that the effects on aggression by viewing violence on television are not necessarily more in children as compared to the adult viewers.
This research, even though inconclusive, also found that the effects of violence in media were slightly stronger on adults than they were on preschool children. These findings are very different from those that have suggested that media can have more effects on children since they are more susceptible in their growing years.
Research that has been conducted in the field and also by correlation also provides some other important perspectives on this issue. These researches show that the images of violence viewed on television can have various different kinds of effects on the viewer and these effects largely depend on the personality of the viewer.
Findings by Friedrich and Stein , however, have suggested that there exists a complex relationship between interpersonal aggression and the watching of violent television programs. It was also found that people who were high on the aggression list and those who saw violence in the media, took a longer time in coming down from their aggressive state than did high-aggressors who saw neutral or nonviolent images.
On the other hand, those who were low on aggression and who saw nonviolent images became more aggressive than those who saw violence on television.
This means that even those images that were nonviolent evoked an aggressive response under certain conditions Gadow Sprafkin. These findings have made many researchers question the true nature of violence in the media and how it can or cannot affect the child in various ways. Some studies have also suggested that it is not the nature of the programs but the number of hours that a child spends in front of the television that is the cause of the adverse effects.
This is so according to Belson , who believes that aggression could be derived from watching violent television as often as it could be derived from watching nonviolent images. The research on children has been restricted to because of many factors.
It is believed that children are a special audience Dorr, They are generally considered to be more vulnerable to the exposure of various contents on television, more than adults are known to be affected. This is because the minds of children are in a stage of cognitive immaturity and the cognitive pathways in their minds can easily be shaped by various media that are fed into it.
It has been found that television is a particularly attractive thing for the children and the children tend to view television more than they indulge in other activities.
This is why television has an enormous potential of shaping the way a child might think and act. There are many kinds of programs that come on the television and many of them have been specifically designed to mold and nurture the minds of children. Thus it is also very possible that children who view violent images on television can have certain adverse affects on their brains. This can in turn affect their personalities and instill a fascination with violence for the rest of their lives.
As discussed above, there is much disagreement as to exactly how television viewing can or cannot affect the minds of children. One that that is for sure is that children do tend to watch a whole lot of television. Although there are many estimates, a slightly more conservative estimate gives that an average child watches as much as 3 hours of television everyday Huston et al.
The effects of viewing tend to depend largely on the nature of the programs but this is also debatable since the factors involving individual personalities are also to be considered.
Most of the children who watch television are not discouraged to do otherwise by their parents Bryant, In an average American family, a television is a very important part of family life. Families sit together and watch many television shows and most of the times young children are watching television in front of their parents.
One study concluded that children watched television with children more than seventy percent of the time St. It has also been determined that television habits are formed in the early years of a child. The parents are mostly blamed for not regulating their children's television viewing habits.
This has also been found that not many parents put in an effort to regulate their children's television viewing patterns. Children learn by their parents' examples and if the parents watch a lot of television, so do the children.
The parents also play an integral role in the children's mind about the contents of what they view on television. If the parents also enjoy watching violent images on television, the children are also more likely to like and thus view more violence on television. Many studies have indicated that explaining what the child just saw on television can greatly help resolve many issues in the child's mind and also helps them to make better and informed decisions later on.
It has also been theorized that television may also affect the whole family as a group, that is, in the way that they spend their time and events together Bryant, There are many television programs on the air that show other families interacting with each other. These families have served as role models for many American families all over the nation for many years. It is very likely that your normal average family is akin to these families and takes up and adopts many or some of the patterns that they see being interacted on television.
These patterns can be considered as what defines normality for these people. The fact that keeps recurring is that it is only the televised viewing that brings about an increased aggressive state but it other factors also have to be considered. There are also many people who do not agree with this and say that televised violence really does not affect the people in any negative way Freedman, , ; McGuire, Since most of the studies that have concluded the adverse effects of television violence on people have been based in laboratory experiments, many people tend to reject the conclusions.
Partly because of such arguments, interest in laboratory experiments began to wane in the s as research on the effects of televised violence became based more and more on studies in natural settings.
Some of these studies, usually called field experiments, involved the use of experimental methodology in natural settings. Friedrich-Cofer and Huston provide a detailed discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of these studies. A very large amount of research was done on the correlation between television viewing and aggression during the s. The research began with the study of third-grade students in a rural county in upstate New York.
Each child's level of aggressiveness was assessed through ratings made by parents, peers, and the children themselves; each child's preference for violent television programs was also measured.
Aggression in the media has been under a lot of scrutiny in recent times. It has resurfaced as the pinnacle of countless debates among politicians, parents .
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