Violence on TV Term Paper

This essay has a total of 1644 words and 8 pages.

Violence on TV

What has the world come to these days? It often seems like everywhere one looks, violence
rears its ugly head. We see it in the streets, back alleys, school, and even at home. The
last of these is a major source of violence. In many peoples' living rooms there sits an
outlet for violence that often goes unnoticed. It is the television, and the children who
view it are often pulled into its realistic world of violence scenes with sometimes
devastating results.

Much research has gone into showing why children are so mesmerized by this big glowing box
and the action that takes place within it. Research shows that it is definitely a major
source of violent behavior in children. The research proves time and time again that
aggression and television viewing do go hand in hand.

The truth about television violence and children has been shown. Some are trying to fight
this problem. Others are ignoring it and hoping it will go away. Still others don't even
seem to care. However, the facts are undeniable. The studies have been carried out and all
the results point to one conclusion: Television violence causes children to be violent and
the effects can be life-long.

The information can't be ignored. Violent television viewing does affect children. The
effects have been seen in a number of cases. In New York, a 16-year-old boy broke into a
cellar. When the police caught him and asked him why he was wearing gloves he replied that
he had learned to do so to not leave fingerprints and that he discovered this on
television. In Alabama, a nine-year-old boy received a bad report card from his teacher.
He suggested sending the teacher poisoned candy as revenge as he had seen on television
the night before. In California, a seven-year-old boy sprinkled ground-up glass into the
the lamb stew the family was to eat for dinner. When asked why he did it he replied that
he wanted to see if the results would be the same in real life as they were on television
(Howe 72). These are certainly startling examples of how television can affect the child.
It must be pointed out that all of these situations were directly caused by children
watching violent television.

Not only does television violence affect the child's youth, but it can also affect his or
her adulthood. Some psychologists and psychiatrists feel that continued exposure to such
violence might unnaturally speed up the impact of the adult world on the child. This can
force the child into a kind of premature maturity. As the child matures into an adult, he
can become bewildered, have a greater distrust towards others, a superficial approach to
adult problems, and even an unwillingness to become an adult (Carter 14).

Television violence can destroy a young child's mind. The effects of this violence can be
long-lasting, if not never-ending.For some, television at its worst, is an assault on a
child's mind, an insidious influence tat upsets moral balance and makes a child prone to
aggressive behavior as it warps his or her perception of the real world. Other see
television as an unhealthy intrusion into a child's learning process, substituting easy
pictures for the discipline of reading and concentrating and transforming the young viewer
into a hypnotized nonthinker (Langone 48). As you can see, television violence can disrupt
a child's learning and thinking ability which will cause life long problems. If a child
cannot do well in school, his or her whole future is at stake.

Why do children like the violence that they see on television? "Since media violence is
much more vicious than that which children normally experience, real-life aggression
appears bland by comparison" (Dorr 127). The violence on television is able to be more
exciting and enthralling than the violence that is normally viewed on the streets.

Instead of just seeing a police officer handing a ticket to a speeding violator, he can
beat the offender bloody on television. However, children don't always realize this is not
the way thing are handled in real life. They come to expect it, and when they don't see it
the world becomes bland and in need of violence. The children then can create the violence
that their mind craves.

The television violence can cause actual violence in a number of ways. As explained above,
after viewing television violence theworld becomes bland in comparison. The child needs to
create violence to keep himself satisfied (Dorr 127). Also the children find the violent
characters on television fun to imitate. "Children do imitate the behavior of models such
as those portrayed in television, movies, etc. They do so because the ideas that are shown
to them on television are more attractive to the viewer than those the viewer can think up
himself" (Brown 98). This has been widely seen lately with the advent of the Mighty
Morphin' Power Rangers. Young children cannot seem to get enough of these fictional
characters and will portray them often.

Another reason why television violence causes violence in children is apparent in the big
cities. "Aggressive behavior was more acceptable in the city, where a child's popularity
rating with classmates was not hampered by his or her aggression" (Huesmann 166). In the
bigger cities, crime and violence is inevitable, expected and, therefore, is left
unchecked and out of line.

Much research into the topic of children and television violence has been conducted. All
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