Media Violence and Its Effect on Children

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There is a strong agreement among American society that violence in the country is on the rise. It is easy to see why this is a strong argument among the American people, especially because of the rising popularity of violent video games and television programs. However, as these violent video games and television shows are creating their own place in our society, the reports of violence among children are escalating. This correlation has been studied extensively in the scientific community in an attempt to discover whether media violence does negatively impact children but there has yet to be a consensus. There is a split between those that believe that children are becoming more violent because they are exposed to violent media and those that believe that correlation is not causation, who argue that media violence does not have any notable effect the youth. Media violence has been a popular excuse for the rising crime rates ever since the Vietnam War. During this time in America, there was a tremendous increase in the amount of violent crimes being committed (“United States Crime Rates”) Scared parents and war protestors blamed this increase in violence on the great media coverage that the Vietnam War was receiving, which portrayed bloody battles and dying soldiers (Jones 40). The public went so far in their belief that media violence was detrimental to children that they managed to ban all violent cartoons from television during the 1970s, as well as eradicate any violent toys, such as plastic army soldiers. As these people were fighting to hide any trace of violence from their children, scientific studies were being conducted on the subject. One of the most famous studies conducted during this time was Albert Bandura’s B... ... middle of paper ..." The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 63.3 (1961): 575. Ferguson, Christopher J. "Violent video games: Dogma, fear, and pseudoscience." Skeptical Inquirer 33.5 (2009): 38. Jones, Gerard. Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make- believe Violence. New York, NY: Basic Books , 2002. Print. Media Violence in Children’s Lives: A position statement of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Washington DC: , 1994. Web. . Olson, Cheryl K. " Media Violence Research and Youth Violence Data: Why Do They Conflict."Academic Psychiatry. 28.2 (2004): 144-50. Web. 29 Sep. 2011. . "United States Crime Rates 1960 - 2012." United States Crime Rates 1960 - 2012. Disaster Center, n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.
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