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Effects of Television on Children: A Chain Indicating Their Behavior

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Kate Moody, author of Growing Up On Television: The TV Effect, explains that a nine-year-old’s effort to slip his teacher a box of poisoned chocolates, a seven-year-old’s use of ground glass in the family stew, a seventeen-year-old’s re-enactment of a televised rape and murder by bludgeoning the victim’s head and slashing her throat, and a fifteen-year-old’s real-life rerun of a rape with a broomstick televised in the movie Born Innocent are all examples of crimes copied from TV (86). Many children are introduced to the world of television before they enter school and grow up committing crimes because they were under the influence of television. In Mary L. Gavin’s article, “How TV Affects Your Child,” found on KidsHealth.org, which is the most visited website for information about health, behavior, and development from before birth through the teen years, Mary reported that two-thirds of infants and toddlers watch television an average of two hours a day, kids under the age of six watch an average of about two hours of television a day, and children between the ages of eight and eighteen years old spend nearly four hours a day in front of a television screen (Gavin). The article found on the Media Awareness Network website, “Television’s Impact on Kids,” reports that television is one of the most prevalent media influences in kids’ lives (Media Awareness Network). Lately, reality shows like Bad Girls’ Club and Jersey Shore are being aired because they are full of drama that catches the viewers’ attention. Children are more receptive of what they see on TV than adults are and are more likely to mimic those actions. The negative influence of television causes children to absorb and retaliate what they see on TV, which in part cause...

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...use. And often, there's no discussion about the consequences of drinking alcohol, doing drugs, smoking cigarettes, and having premarital sex (Gavin). Children who view TV become involved in three processes: (1) they are exposed to new behaviors and characters, (2) they learn to do or acquire those behaviors, and (3) they eventually accept them as their own (Moody 86-87). Children are attracted to violence, and violence on TV is portrayed as tolerable. As a result, kids show aggressive behavior and learn to handle their problems with violence, which leads to an increase in crime. Also, children that watch shows that contain sexual content are more likely to become involved in sexual activities. Children assimilate everything they see on TV, and they assume behaviors like violence and sex are appropriate, which guides them to actually undertake in such activities.
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