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Is Television Viewing Harmful To Children?

3543 words - 15 pages

Television Viewing: Are We Over-Reacting?
Into________Television viewing is not harmful to children
Television viewing is a source of education. Young children across the globe tune in to their favorite television shows and are learning valuable information. Children from the time that they are born are playing copycat from their care-givers. By mimicking those around them, the infant’s brain is absorbing information like a sponge and will learn how to read, write, and count because of this. By tuning in to an educational program stimulating enough for young minds to be involved in, this can help kids to learn numerous things by the time they are ready to enroll in kindergarten.
Now the ...view middle of the document...

Another example of a good educational show is Dora the Explorer. Kids get to follow Dora on magical adventures while learning the vocabulary of a different language, learns simple math, reading and patterns and will still enjoy learning. As the child grows older, kids will expand on more complicated programs that can still provide learning. These shows include Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, Brain Games, Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey, America: the Story of Us and Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman.
However, it is clear that American television provides little censorship when it comes to such issues as violence, murder, rape, and global catastrophes. Such topics can be discussed as early as seven in the morning and reappear often throughout the rest of the day. And it is obvious that young children, especially preschoolers are around to possibly view this darker kind of programming. Surely this would cause some horrible adverse effect on a child’s young mind and have them create irrational fears of fictional monsters and natural disasters (van der Molen 1772). Well not entirely, because research shows that young children only experience a short term reaction to the media. In a national survey, “sixty-two percent of parents of two-to-seventeen-year-olds agreed that their children had ‘sometimes become scared that something they saw in a movie or on TV might happen to them’” (Wilson 130). And because this fear is only for a short time, the child learns from the experience and moves on. Studies done from the 1960’s up to the 2000’s show evidence that television viewing also does not create violence and aggression. A study done in 1960 showed that the amount of young children who were aggressive after watched violent cartoons were only “relatively small and not long-acting” (Trend 30). Another study in 2000 showed that teenage boys, who were proven to be more aggressive after watching violent shows than girls, only three out of 145 boys showed such behavior. But the most shocking thing is that a majority of these studies conducted by these researchers forget that there are many outside variables that can affect a childs behavior outside of the land of television. (Trend 34-35).
Whether the parents want it or not, children are going to grow older and see an increasing intensity of violence in a myriad of ways. Anywhere from in music heard of the radio to video games and television (FTC 120-125). Of course, parents may be up in arms about this and believe it is “a major concern” (FCC Should Regulate) and are no at all pleased that such violence may be over-dramatized (van der Molen 1771). This is not to say that parents should then have their six year old child watch World War II documentaries, have them tune in to CBS to hear of the latest catastrophe, and then have them watch gory dissections from some horror flick. Rather, parents should be more open to child programming that involves some adult situations. Television has made...

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