Media Violence And Kids Essay, Research Paper
It has been calculated that American kids see about 200,000 acts of violence and 25,000 murders on TV by the time they reach age 18. (Schleifer 18) Arrests of people under the age of 18 for violent crimes rose 47 percent from 1988 to 1992. (Miller 174) The American Medical Association conducted a study that found a direct relationship between viewing and homicide. (Miller 176) Does watching this kind of overexposure of violence have a significant effect on children and teenagers? The answer is yes! Many reliable sources have proven that violence in the media has a negative influence in children under the age of 18. The following paragraphs will explain how media violence shows children that violence is acceptable and that it s ok to act in a violent manner. Also, how children imitate characters and people who use violence in the media, display aggressive behavior, are desensitization and sometimes gives them the belief that that violence doesn t hurt. Finally above all, the statistics deaths and arrests in kids due to violence committed by other kids has increased.
Experts say children think that violence is an acceptable way to deal with problems and conflicts. (Schleifer 18), (Edgar 48)
One example of this is a boy named Tim whom was interviewed about violence he was involved in at high school. Tim said that what he saw television made his violent behavior seem more acceptable and it was the way to handle things. He says he learned to by what he saw on the streets and on television. (Miller 57) We not only tolerate violence, says Karl Menninger, a renowned psychologist, we put it on the front pages of our newspapers.
Children have even gone as far as to imitate characters and people who use and talk about violence. (Edgar 51) Some students try to capture the entertainment value they get from the big screen by acting violently in real life.
( Kreiner 27). Some cartoons have come into question like The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ren and Stimpy, and Beavis and Butt-Head because there are children that have hurt and been hurt while trying to copy their favorite cartoon. (Edgar 29) In Toronto, a six year-old boy wearing a Ninja Turtle costume stabbed his friend in the arm for not giving back a toy he had borrowed. Another boy in Ottawa was caught swinging the family cat by the head and when his mother tried to stop him he said, It s just like Michelangelo, one of the Ninja Turtles. (Miller 59) A little boy started a fired and in which his sister died after watching the MTV show, Beavis and Butt- Head, two teenage characters play with lighters. Bob Greene, a columnist for the Chicago Tribune,
said incident like this is frightening especially because kids are acting out what
they see on MTV. (Miller 59) A poll was taken in Los Angeles of young people
ages 10 to 16 said that they have often wanted to try something they have seen on TV and are influenced by violence in the media. (Miller 58) In 1919, a Texas highway patrolman was shot dead at point blank range by a teenager. He testified at his trial that the music of Tupac Shakur made him do it. Another incident was after the opening of the movie Boyz in the Hood. The violence ranged from Chicago, where a man was fatally shot, to a theater in Alabama, where three teens were shot in a gang fight. (Miller 61)
The majority of research done on TV focuses on how viewing violence causes aggressive behavior.(acc.jc.edu/north/masscomm/cartoon/htm)
Many studies, including one published by the National Television Study have found, the more and longer children are exposed to media violence the greater the risk they will become aggressive adolescents or adults .(acc.jc.edu/north /masscomm /cartoon/http 1). A teenage boy who was interviewed said, It can fuel violence for kinds who already have a tendency to do it. (Miller 66) As a result the children may respond violently to some situations; We believe that heavy exposure to televised violence is one of the causes of aggressive behavior, crime and violent affects youngster of all ages, of both genders at all
socioeconomic levels it can not be denied or explained away. (Miller 65)
Children who view large amounts of violence on television are likely to become
desensitized to all kinds of violence televised on real. This is especially true when it come to cartoon violence because the consequences to the victims are rarely shown. (acc.jc.edu/north/masscomm/cartoon/html.) Very young children have trouble distinguishing fact from fantasy. One teenager gang member wounded in a shoot out was amazed at how much the gun shoot hurt. After all, on TC, people who get show never show pain! (Schleifer 18) I didn t know it would hurt him, said an eight year old boy after he was arrested for beating his next door-neighbor. (Kreiner 27)
Statistics even show that he media also effects the number of crimes committed by children and murders of children by other children. In 1993, 28 New York youth faced murder chares. On a national scale, arrests for homicide among juveniles went up 93 percent from 1988 to 1992. A 1994 study by Parade magazine showed that 12 percent of all violent crime is now committed inside a school or school property. (Miller 174-175) In 1991,15-19-year-old males were more likely to be arrested for murder than males in any other age group. (McCUEN 23) A 20-year study conducted by Rowell Huesmann shows
that kids who watched a great deal of violence at the age of eight were
consistently more likely to commit violent crimes on abuse at the age of 30. (Miller 65) To say that we are not influenced by we see is simply not true. (Miller 57)
All of the information provided above proves that violence in the media has detrimental effects on children. Children who watch violence in the media are more aggressive and violent and commit more violent crimes. Through desensitizing they have lost there compassion for people who are hurt by violent crimes and therefore feel that it’ ok to hurt people. The media has sent this message that using violence is an acceptable way of solving problems. This has showed that media violence can have nothing but a negative effect on children.
Our values, the principles by which we conduct our lives, are determined by all the things that influence us as we are growing up. (Miller 56) The main point is, television is a teacher-either by design of default. (Miller 65)