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Television And Media Link Between Tv Violence And The Violence Of Children

2120 words - 9 pages

The Link between TV Violence and the Violence of Children

 
     Children watch a lot of television.  TV has even become a babysitter.

 There is more violence portrayed on television than in earlier years.  Crime has increased

steadily over the years as well.  Many children have been involved in violent crimes in recent years, and

there is a link between violence on television and the increase in crime.

 

As early as 1960, Leonard Eron and L. Rowell Huesmann, researchers in Columbia County,

 New York, discovered a connection between violence on TV and how aggressively children behaved.

Children seeing violence on TV, beginning as young as eight years old, ...view middle of the document...

  This deregulation allowed toy manufacturers to make TV programs to sell

their products.  Teachers began to notice an increase in violence in the children in their classes.  But it was not

until the fall of 1993 that the teachers could link their students' aggressive behavior to a specific program and

 toy line, namely, "The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers".  The show portrayed five normal teenagers who could be

transformed into costumed superheroes when unexpectedly attacked by villains.  Although the "Power Rangers"

was similar to other children's cartoon programs, it contained more violence than any previous show.  The show

used real people, as well as animated characters, performing violent acts, where previous shows had only used

animated characters (Levin, 1-5).

 

The teachers noticed how the "Power Rangers" affected the children's play activities.  There was a definitive

negative effect on the children  They saw increased violence among the children, as well as repetitious imitation

 of the show, less imagination and creativity in their play.  The children seemed to be confused as to what was

real or pretend, since the "Power Rangers" show used real teenagers and animated characters (Levin, 1-5).

 

In March of 1998, the largest school massacre in American history happened in Jonesboro,

Arkansas.  Jonesboro is the hometown of Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, director of the Killology Research

Group, who also teaches psychology at Arkansas State University.  Being a military expert on the

psychology of killing, he explains how TV and other media are "training our children to kill" (Grossman,1).

"Children don't naturally kill; they learn it from violence in the home and, most pervasively, from

violence as entertainment in television, movies, and interactive video games" (Grossman, 3).  Increased

violence is not only happening in America, it is occurring worldwide.  The common cause of this violence

is "media violence presented as entertainment for children" (Grossman, 2-3).  Grossman states that it is

unnatural to kill our own kind.  Armies condition soldiers to kill, and media violence is doing the same thing

with our children, but with no restrictions (Grossman, 1-11).

 

By watching violence on TV, children are becoming desensitized.  If a young child watches a violent

program on TV, he copies the actions seen into real life.  Being a young, inexperienced child, he has trouble

distinguishing between reality and fantasy.  "The Journal of the American Medical Association published

the definitive epidemiological study on the impact of TV violence.  In every nation, region, or city with television,

there is an immediate explosion of violence on the playground, and within 15 years there is a doubling of the

murder rate " (Grossman, 5).  It takes 15 years for the desensitized child to reach "prime crime age"

(Grossman, 5). ...

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