Childrens TV Watching Should Be Limited Essay

Childrens T.V Watching Should Be Limited Essay, Research Paper

Children?s T.V Watching Should be Limited.

Violence on television, a controversial topic, is causing an uproar throughout the nation. Americans are frustrated, aggravated and now, even outraged from lack of social conscience in television programming. Research shows within an eighteen-hour period, viewers will witness approximately 1,846 violent scenes, in which 175 will result in fatalities and another 88 in homicides. Television violence has proven to be a harmful influence on children, adolescents and adults. Many viewers want the federal to take immediate action to regulate television programming before the situation escalate.

Most critics opposed to regulating violence on television also believe this would constitute a violation of their First Amendment Rights to freedom of speech. After realizing the harmful effects of television violence on human behavior, especially children, other critics will be in favor of the public’s welfare. Psychiatrists, educators, parental organizations, consumer groups and religious leaders are now calling for FCC (Federal communications committee) and congressional action to regulate the television industry. According to psychiatrists, violence on television alters the viewer?s behavior. In 1987, the John Krall Medical Director of the American Psychiatric Association stated, “The evidence is overwhelming that violence in television programming can have a negative and severe behavioral impact on young people and adults.” However, Channel 9 has many educational programs for children and adults such as Nova, Sesame Street, Historic events, and so forth, But is that enough?

Television violence causes viewers to imitate the destructive behavior that is being continually reinforced when children or adults watch violent shows over and over. For example, a nine year old boy received a poor report card and suggested to his father that they present his teacher with a box of poisoned sweets for Christmas, an idea mimicked from a program viewed just weeks earlier. Another young boy severely injured a family member, placing ground glass in stew to see if it “really worked”. Such incidents tell us that not only do people imitate the violence seen on television, but in many cases with the same dangerous effects as well.

University of Michigan researchers, Huesmann and Eron, conducted a twenty-two year study of 875 children. They were attempting to determine if the viewing habits of eight-year-old boys were related to their aggressive behavior and criminal acts through adulthood. “The results show that, even after controlling for the boys’ aggressiveness, intelligence, and socioeconomic status at age eight, the boys’ television violence viewing matched up with the seriousness of the crime for which they were convicted by age 30.” (Huesmann UM researcher)

Most children have difficulty figuring out between fantasy and reality. Many children, and most viewers of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles honestly believed, if they went into the sewers, they would discover “talking turtles.” A teacher reported, “several children really thought it was OK to use physical violence with other children because [the turtles] do that.” The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, long criticized for violence, turn sweet, innocent children into “… a little gang of Ninjas trying to kick each other in the face.” Children watching violent programming, over time become convinced violence is the only answer to social encounters. A New York psychotherapist recently wrote to a magazine that while watching a “family” program with his daughter, the preview for “Nightmare on Elm Street” appeared, causing his daughter to lose sleep for fear of Freddy Krueger. Each year children watch in excess of 1,000 stylized and explicit rapes, murders, armed robberies, and assaults on television. Shows and advertisements such as these are very worrisome to both children and parents alike. Children, after passing a certain point, seem to become desensitized; the amount of violence they are exposed to no longer appears to affect them. Once a child’s sensitivity is altered, he or she appears to almost approve violence and fighting. A young boy asked why GI Joe was his favorite show, responded, “Because it has a lot of fighting.” Americans are now using to turning on the television set and seeing a series of murders, rapes, assaults and robberies. All in a single day’s viewing.

Violence is a serious matter and must be taken . Society praises the “Rocky, Rambo?s, and Terminators.” People enjoy, admire and now, demand senseless killing to provide entertainment for a few hours. Violence shows us how to attack others, verbally and physically. Television programs give off a lot of violence making it appear easy to commit crimes and get away with them. Television is becoming more graphic, more pervasive, and worst of all, more accepted and the federal government needs to take action before the situation deepens. Television is damaging the minds and lives of Americans, especially the children in society.


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