Rhetorical analysis essay Essay

This essay has a total of 1069 words and 6 pages.

rhetorical analysis essay

Causal Argument: Does Violence In The Media Affect Children?
Violence is found all around us in the media. Parents are becoming worried about what
their children are exposed to. There has been an ongoing debate as to whether violence in
the media can affect children to imitate acts of violence. After much research I have
found there is a link between watching violence, and committing acts of violence. Children
who are exposed to excessive amounts of violence on television, in video games, and
through song lyrics, than children who are not, are much more likely to commit acts of
violence later in their lives.

Many wonder if watching violence on television can influence individuals to act violently,
and many studies have found a link between viewing violence on TV and committing acts of
violence later in life. For example, University of Michigan psychologists Leonard Eron and
Rowell Huesmann conducted a study spanning decades where they watched over 800
preschoolers, and followed them until adulthood to see how television violence affected
them. The study concluded that children who watched excessive amounts of television tended
to be more aggressive towards other children. Eron and Huesman checked back with the
preschoolers eleven and twenty two years ago, and found that the aggressive preschools
became even more aggressive as they got older with more acts of domestic violence, and
more traffic tickets than their peers. Many experts also believe that when children view
violence on television they try to imitate what they see. For instance, there was an
incident when a five year old, while watching the cartoon Beavis and Butthead saw the
characters’ obsession with fire, and decided to light his house on fire, which killed his
little sister (Children, Media and Violence). Not only are children exposed to violence on
television, violence is also found in video games.

With the recent advancements in technology, video games are looking more and more
realistic every day. With the introduction of better video games systems, and graphics,
video games are becoming increasingly popular with children and teenagers. Some might
argue that video games cannot influence young people, because they are aware that the
games are fantasy, but studies conducted by the Surgeon General and a National Institute
of Mental Health concluded that the more realistic something looks, the more likely it
will be “learned.” This simply means that the more realistic something looks, the more
influential it will be to the individual viewing it. (American Academy of Pediatrics
Online). The National Institute of Mental Health also claims that children up to age eight
cannot distinguish between real life and fantasy, so when they play these games they
believe that committing acts of violence is an effective form of problem solving. The
National Coalition on Television Violence found that in Mortal Kombat, one of the best
selling video games of all time, your object is not just to kill your opponent, but to
master your skills at doing so (Children Youth and Family Consortium Electronic
Clearinghouse). This kind of play has to affect children. People are most impressionistic
when they are young, and they learn by their actions. They win the game for killing
everyone. This teaches makes them more tolerant of violence, and more likely to commit
violent crimes later in life.

Music is another form of media, which influences children and teenagers. In 1995,
Entertainment Monitor reported that “only 10 out of the top 40 popular CD’s on sale during
the holiday season were free of profanity, or lyrics dealing with drugs, violence, and
sex. Rap superstar, Eminem’s CD titled, “The Marshall Mathers LP” has already sold more
than 4.1 million albums, and is currently at the top of the music charts (Billboard.com)
has already stirred up tons of controversy with its lyrics. “The Marshall Mathers LP” has
songs titled “Criminal,” “Drug Ballad,” and “Kill You.” According to Eminem’s success,
this is what people enjoy listening to. They do not seem bothered by the language or
subjects. Not only are the lyrics explicitly violent, but they do influence the children
who listen to it. Rap music is not the only genre of music containing violent lyrics.
There was an incident where a teenager shot his parents, and claimed that listing to music
by gothic artist Marilyn Manson drove him to such extremes. Marilyn Manson has created a
whole new trend among young people. They call their look “gothic” and wear black clothing.
Sometimes they paint their faces white, and wear dog collars, much like their idol Manson.

If there is someone to blame for all this violence in our media, it would be the
entertainment industry; however, they argue that they are giving the public what they
want. This is not a true statement according to Michael Medved, who has written books
where he analyzed media violence. Medved analyzed all films that were released between
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