1 December 2011
Television shows are part of the American culture. Unlike early times when a TV could only be afforded by the upper class and were seldomly tuned into, Americans today use TV as a main source of entertainment. The age group of people who watch TV encompasses all ends of the spectrum. TV programming exists for just about any age and genre. Television can be a powerful influence in developing a person’s value system and shaping their behavior. Unfortunately, much of today’s television programming is violent. The reliance on violence as an entertainment stimulant cheapens children’s views of human ...view middle of the document...
They will imitate anything.” (Centerwall) This goes without saying that TV does in fact influence the child’s views and actions about violence.
TV is often used by parents to pacify their children. It doesn’t take long for children to learn how to change the channels. As a result, they have the freedom to tune into any show that catches their attention including violent and inappropriate programs for their age. John P. Murray noted in his research findings that, “It is not unusual to describe media violence as a drug. Parents who have watched their young child sit mesmerized in front of the television screen watching fast action and fast-paced programming, often comment on the zombie-like or drugged expression on the child’s face.” (Murray) Just as easily as parents are attempting to occupy their children they are teaching them violence through the actions of superheroes and celebrities. Although their method of occupying their kids through the use of a TV may be effective, is it instilling good moral values? There is no doubt that children’s TV shows are filled with large amounts of violence. Violent filled programs are certainly not the place to look for good morals, especially when a child is first beginning to distinguish right from wrong and acceptable behaviors from unacceptable behaviors. When a parent doesn’t explain what it is their child is seeing or experiencing you leave the interpretation completely up to the child.
Some parents have restricted certain channels from their children. Over the years there have been modifications and ways to put parental controls in place, such as the V-chip. The V-chip is a computer chip that fits into television sets and can be programmed by parents to block out any program with a particular rating. These controls certainly help reduce the problem it’s simply inescapable. Violence is actually an ingenious method used by the companies who produce cartoons and children’s TV programs. Three authors described just how clever it is, “Violence is a common tool of media purveyors who would seek to stimulate viewers. Along with sex, swearing and other obscene or gross behavior, violence is a cheap but effective means of generating a reaction from viewers.” (Pearson, Johnwagner, Geraldine) Unfortunately it isn’t just violence that infests our TV’s.
Media violence stimulates fear in some children. As a result, some children develop unrealistic phobias of the world around them. Horror films are a perfect example of the correlation between violence as a stimulant of fear. A child viewing a horror film is likely to witness a story that depicts a victim and perpetrator. It is not unlikely that the victim will be murdered or severely injured by the perpetrator. Such frightening experiences cause the viewer to become insecure and paranoid, especially if it reminds them of something they witnessed in a movie or TV. After a team of researchers experimented with 138 university students...