The issue of television violence and its influence on children’s behavior troubles me. Television violence seems to be becoming abundant and violence seems to be increasing. This may be a dangerous form of entertainment, especially when young children become involved. The majority of television programs viewed by children contain large amounts of violence and inappropriate material. Children’s vulnerability poses as the main problem due to desensitization.
Television has the ability to “traumatize children.” (Boyse) The impact television has over society hinders the ability for many to recognize the dangers that come from it. Negative outcomes from too much screen time at a young age include: obesity, irregular sleep patterns, behavioral problems, even impair academic performance (Mayo). Due to the conclusions drawn from research and observational studies, one is able to support the claim that young children watching television obtains far more downfalls such as health problems, behavior abnormalities, and unfit lifestyles than benefits such as convenience. When you are a child you are influenced by many things. The things you hear, smell, and most of all the things you see.
We need to examine exactly what these companies are telling children and the effects these violent stories are having on the children who watch them. One of the first negative effects researchers discovered while observing children who were frequently exposed to violence on television was a lack of empathy towards other people’s pain and suffering. It was discovered that children who watched excessive amounts of violent programming were less likely to help victims of real-life violence ( Kinnear 6 ). Why does viewing violence on television have this effect on children? Children viewing acts of violence on television are essentially being trained to be spectators to violence.
The media has an enormous impact on children and this can lead to increased violence and dependency in the future. The media is a powerful socializing agent that can be very harmful. The television is different from most socializing agents, as you can’t interact with it and you have no say over the message that be being delivered. Children can’t differentiate fantasy from reality, which means they can’t differentiate TV violence from real violence. The Images of Society (2001) found “American researchers found out that aggressive students in school watched more television than less aggressive students” (p.240); what can this mean for the children?
Fortunately, government officials and television networks have taken steps to limit the amount of violence on TV. They too have recognized the direct link between television viewing and violence. In this paper I’m going to go ... ... middle of paper ... ...eased levels of violence on television they develop sort of a mean world syndrome. This leads the children to perceive the world as much more cruel and sinister than it really is. Many children might grow up being afraid of the world because of the violence that they see in the many hours that they spend watching television.
There are many preventative techniques that can be applied to ensure that negativity on television will not interfere with a child's development. Children see violent acts on television and make an attempt to process it, and in doing so, their innocence is lost. According to Dr. David Elkind, president emeritus, National Association for the Education of Young Children, ?Television forces children to accommodate a great deal and inhibits the assimilation of material. Consequently, the television child knows a great deal more than he or she can ever understand. This discrepancy between how much information children have and what they can process is the major stress of television.?
The Effect of Television Violence on Children Television can be a powerful influence in developing value systems and shaping behavior; The violence that children are constantly subjected to on television can have very harmful affects if not monitored carefully. More and more often parents are using television as a means of entertaining their children when they are unable to, and the amount of television that children are watching is a growing concern in our society. While a large part of the concern is the quantity of television that young people are viewing, a more pressing issue is the quality that is offered to them. While cartoons may seem to be harmless and humorous, that is not always the case. A good portion of the violence that is on television is captured in Saturday morning cartoons, when children are most likely to be captivated by them.
The basic reason is because violence is what people want to see. Much of the American viewing audience, and especially children, will watch the shows with more action before they even think about watching the morally correct ones. Another reason is that some broadcasters claim that there is not enough evidence to prove that TV violence is harmful. But, scientists who have studied this aspect have stated that TV violence and aggressive behavior are linked. In a Children Now Executive Summary, only one of many studies on the issue, experts agreed, among other relevant topics, "that television can have a negative effect on children, encouraging anti-social behavior such as dishonesty or violence."
Violence and explicit themes on television have been a main benefactor in behavioral problems in children, causing educational issues as well. Studies have shown that “excessive TV viewing can lead to poor grades in school” (Boyse Online). TV has even been shown to affect the mood of the child, usually “TV doesn’t improve their disposition. They’re grouchy and irritable right after they watch” (Winn 19). When violence is included in speech or an action a child’s favorite show or movie it wouldn’t be uncommon if that youth would try to imitate it.
If parents do not monitor what their children are watching, then the media will have a great impact on their children’s life. Most people when analyzing this issue tend to focus on drugs, sex, and violence in terms of the television media. How ridiculous though, it would be to forcibly say that television is the sole cause of changing behavior and attitudes in children. More apropos it would be to ascertain which types of imagery, programs, and activities are more likely to alter a child’s behavior and determine which of these appear on television. “A recent study at UCLA reported on the percentages of unrealistic outcomes displayed on TV shows.