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Effect Of Media Violence On Children

1314 words - 6 pages

Effect of Media Violence on Children

The children of today are surrounded by technology and entertainment that is full of violence. It is estimated that the average child watches from three to five hours of television a day! Listening to music is also a time consuming pastime among children. With all of that exposure, one might pose the question, "How can seeing so much violence on television and video games and hearing about violence in in music affect a child's behavior?" Obviously these media have a big influence on childrens' behavior: we can see it in the way they attempt to emulate their favorite rock stars by dressing in a similar style and the way children play games, imitating ...view middle of the document...

11), are seen as heroes to a lot of children. Most people would agree that they are not very good role models and that the lyrics that they write promoting shooting policeman and raping women can have a negative affect on children's behavior. However, there are examples of music having a positive influence on kids are also prevalent. The girl rap group Salt-N-Pepa, who are often categorized according to their sexual image, also project an image of feminine strength. Cheryl James, a.k.a "Salt," said, "We get compliments from women like, 'You inspired me to get out of an abusive relationship.' It makes me feel good about what I do" (AP Nov. 5). There is also some good examples of music, which brings a more positive feeling to the group. An example of this can be heard in the animaniacs compact disk.

Television

Television is especially influential on the children of today. Thirty years ago, not every home had a television; they were considered a luxury that only the rich could afford. Now, most households have two televisions and children watch them incessantly. Many children's programs are extremely violent and a child can learn violent behavior from watching these programs. For example, about a month ago, in Norway, a small girl was beaten, stripped, and left to die by three boys aged 5, 6, and 6. When asked why they had assaulted the girl, the boys replied that they were doing what the "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" do. Also, they said they were copying the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." It has been shown that viewing violent programs can alter a child's behavior, making the child afraid, worried, suspicious, or increasing that child's tendencies towards aggressive behavior. Several Northern European countries, including Norway and Sweden, have taken "The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" off of the air because they feel it is too violent for children to watch. In Canada the "Mighty Morphins" have also been dropped. The show was condemned by the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council as, "too violent," and the Global TV network has said that it will edit out some of the more violent scenes (AP Nov. 3). Television can be very powerful in influencing children, but it is not the only medium that can affect children. For example, there was an instance in Wales where a ten year old boy saved his mother's life. She had fallen into a pool and was drowning and her son saved her, saying that watching the popular show "Baywatch" had helped him save her: "I realized my mom was in trouble. I didn't stop to think, I just knew I had to jump in and save her. When I reached her side I remembered how the lifeguards on 'Baywatch' rescue swimmers and tried to copy them" (Reuters Nov. 3). Peggy Charren, director of Action for Children's Television, said in a...

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