Sex And Violence On Television Essay

2533 words - 11 pages

Sex and Violence on Television: Are the affects on Children all bad?

The Issue

How does the saying go? “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” There is no question that the controversy of violence among today’s youth is colossal. There are many studies that point to sex and violence in the media as the cause of this problem. Yet there are also several studies that suggest that the affects of TV violence on children and teens are minimal or may be beneficial in some ways. This paper will review literature from both sides of the controversy not for the sake of defending one side over the other but for the purpose of unveiling what makes the issue so controversial by exploring ...view middle of the document...

The First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees the Freedom of Speech. The problem though is that it is too broad and not well defined. While doctrines have risen about from the Supreme Court in an effort to define the extent of the First Amendment and the protection for Freedom of Speech is that there are different types of speech and depending on the speech, some may be defined as protected expression. Yet full First Amendment protection for some speech does not extend to broadcasting. To add to the clash, there is the growing concern revolving around children as part of the viewing audience and the affects that indecent content on television may be having on them.

Statistics show that there is abundant evidence from over 3,000 research studies over past decades that have shown that sexual-related material and violence depicted on television affect the attitudes and behaviors of children who view it (Huesmann, Moise-Titus, Podolski, & Eron, 2003). The results of one of the most extensive studies ever done on the topic of violence on television were released in 2003 when researchers followed 329 subjects over 15 years. They found that children that were exposed to violence on television were more likely to be convicted of crime as adults. They also found that girls that watched excessive television containing violence tended to throw things at their husbands while boys who grew up watching violent television shows were more likely to be violent with their wives. The researches ultimately concluded that violent television shows increased the likelihood of children growing up and behaving more aggressively.

According to other studies, the typical child will witness more than 200,000 televised acts of violence, including over 16,000 murders, before reaching adulthood. Nevertheless some research say that underdeveloped social skills are the reason that some children exhibit more aggression than others and that violent content on television is not to blame. Murray, J. (1994) and Anderson, et al. (2003) posit that even short-term exposure to violent television viewing increases the likelihood of greater aggressive behavior. The author of the research says that all children are born with violent tendencies, but most children are able to learn appropriate and adequate social skills that help them to learn to control impulses to act out aggression. In contrast, children born with deficient or damaged genes are more likely to be negatively affected by the violent content on television and will be less able to develop the necessary behavioral skills that would counter the impulse for aggressive behavior.

While some people believe that sex and violence negatively affect children, others believe that the affect may be beneficial in some ways in that there is a potential for children to learn morale values and life lessons from violent content and understand that bad acts are punishable. For instance, when children view television that...

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