Television Violence and Its Effects on Young Children

Television Violence and Its Effects on Young Children
What has the world come to these days? It often seems like everywhere you look, violence rears its ugly head. We see it in the streets, back alleys, school, and even at home. Out of these three, at home is a major source of violence on a daily basis. Many peoples? living rooms there serve as 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 violent 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 on 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 people 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 lamb stew the family was to eat for dinner. These are certainly startling examples of how television can affect children. 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. 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 dangerous influence that upsets moral balance and makes a child prone to aggressive behavior as it warps his or her perception of the real world. ?Others 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). 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? (Door ). The violence on television is able to be more exciting and more engrossing 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 things are handled in real life. They come to expect it, and when they don?t see it the world becomes plain and in need of violence. ?Those who had most frequently watched violent television shows and enjoyed and identified with them, the study found, tended to be more aggressive? (New York Times). The children then can create the violence that their mind craves. The television violence can contribute to actual violence in a number of ways. After viewing television violence the world becomes bland in comparison. ?The child needs to create violence to keep himself satisfied? (Door). 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. This has been seen lately with the emergence of Dragonball Z and other violent TV shows targeted at young kids. 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). 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 of the results seem to point in the same direction. There are undeniable correlations between violent television and aggression. Children who watch violent television shows identify with the characters, believe that they are realistic and are more likely to be aggressive as adults, psychologists reported in a study (New York Times) . In Israel children from farms were tested as well as 112 schoolchildren from the city of Tel Aviv. The researchers found that the city children watched far more television than their farmland counterparts. However, both groups of children were just as likely to choose a violent program to watch when watching television. "The city children had a greater tendency to regard violent television programs as accurate reflections of real life than the farm children. ?Likewise, the city boys identified most with characters from violent programs than did those living on the farms? (Huesmann). Our government also did research in this area. They conducted an experiment where children were left alone in a room with a monitor playing a videotape of other children at play. Soon, things got ?out of hand? and progressive mayhem began to take place. Children who had just seen commercial violence accepted much higher levels of aggression than other children. The results were published in a report. ?A Surgeon General?s report found some Preliminary indications of a casual relationship between television viewing and aggressive behavior in children?? (Langone). In other research among U.S. children it was discovered that aggression, academic problems, unpopularity with peers and violence feed off each other. ?Boys ages 6 to 8 who were heavy viewers of very violent TV shows were twice as likely as other men to push, grab, or shove their spouses and three times as likely to be convicted of criminal behavior by the time they reached their early 20s? (Gorman). The child watches violence which causes aggression. The combination of aggression and continued television viewing lead to poor academic standings as well as unpopularity. These can cause more aggression and a vicious cycle begins to spin.
Parents should also have some responsibility of what children watch on TV especially with the inventions on such products as the V-chip which allow parental channeling on violent or inappropriate programs that is suitable for young adults. Another solution is prescreening what the watch and filter out the violent stuff. Sit and watch whatever your kid is viewing, and point out how the scene on-screen is different from real life. ?The best thing you can do as a parent is to reassure your kids that life isn?t really the way it?s often depicted on TV. Normal people don?t, or shouldn?t, act that way.? (Gorman)

In conclusion, violence on TV is a negative aspect in the way children?s minds need to develop. There has been overwhelming evidence that supports how violence hinders the normal thought patterns that a child should have. Violence is glorified on TV and in most kids think its a ?cool? thing and want to duplicate what they see on TV, not knowing that what their doing is wrong. Media shouldn?t be blamed completely, the parents of these children also have a responsibility to teach their kids what to watch and not watch and to shape who they become.

Television Violence and Its Effects on Young Children 7.7 of 10 on the basis of 2777 Review.