“Children are among the greatest of imitators… .” The debate over media violence has eluded definitive answers for more then three decades. At first glance, the debate is dominated by one question. Whether or not media violence causes real life violence and whether or not it has a negative effect of the modern day Canadian family.
Closer examination reveals a political battle. On one hand, there are those who blame media violence for societal violence and want to censor violent content to protect our children. On the other hand, there are those who see regulation as a slippery slope to censorship or a smoke screen hiding the basic causes of violence in society. One thing is certain: the issue of media violence is not going away. Increasingly, the debate is focusing on the “culture” of violence, and on the normalization of aggression and the lack of empathy in our society. Study after study has shown that viewing encourages aggression and desensitization in children.
The debate is over. Media violence causes violence among those who are exposed to it. This essay describes how the depiction of violence is evolving in a number of media formats. It analyzes how, and why, violence is used by entertainment and information industries.
... they are men. Conclusions The media teaches children the signifiers of sex, violence and consumerism. The media tells children it is important to think about ... …and television…and films, the child learns the signifiers of violence. Similarly, the media teaches us the signifiers of sexuality. Once ...
It offers an overview of research findings, an outline of government responses to the issue and a look at some of the key arguments in the debate. It also explores the role of media education can play in helping young people put media violence into perspective. So lets start with this basic argument; violent media is a contributing factor to youth violence in our society. It is not the only factor. But this paper is after all about the media and it is not within our scope or purpose to explore in depth the other reasons kids resort to violence. We are going to talk about violence in the media and what we have learned about its effect on our Canadian children.
There have been many studies and a survey showing that media violence does have an impact on children and in effect alters the state of the Modern Day Canadian family. What We Know The debate is over. Forty years of research conclude that repeated exposure to high levels of media violence teaches children and adolescence to settle there differences with violence. Locked in professional journals are thousands of articles documenting the negative effect of media particularly media violence on our nation’s youth. Children who are heavy viewer of television are more aggressive and more pessimistic, weigh more are less imaginative less empathic and less capable then there lighter viewing counter parts (Levine, 1996).
Canada has become one of the most violent nations in the industrialized world. The roots of violence in our society are complex. Our society is well informed about the damages caused by poverty, child abuse, alcoholism and drug abuse, but we must also consider the role played by the images our children see on the small screen during the three and a half hours of daily viewing. There is major gap that exists between research findings and what the public knows about the harmful effects of media violence on children.
Media Violence has become a powerful source of behaviour’s, attitudes and values. In many homes it threatens the traditional trio of socialization- family, school and church. Violence by teenagers, and even preteens, exploded into public awareness recently as a result of shootings in the United States. As shocking as they are, such incidents are just the tip of an iceberg that includes the murders of about 3, 500 youths between 15 and 19 years old every year (Dyson, 1999).
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More than 150, 000 arrests of adolescents for violent crimes occur each year (Dyson, 1999).
Hundreds of studies have linked exposure to media violence to violent real-life behavior in adolescents.
The Effects of Television on Children Research has given us some important information on how children of different ages respond to television and what they are capable of learning. In Canada, almost all households have at least one television set; in 1999, 99% of homes had a television (Focus on Family, 2001).
Along with the ownership of a television come changes in the way that time is divided within the family unit. A Canadian study that documented the changes in how families spent their time before and after television was introduced into a small town reported that time spent sleeping, at social gatherings outside the home, in conversation, in leisure activities such as reading, knitting, and writing, doing household tasks, and involved in community activities and sports was reduced after television became available (Bryant, Carveth & Brown, 2001).
James P. Steyer, author of The Other Parent has commented that the major impact of television may not be in the behaviour’s that it induces but rather in the behaviour’s that it pre-empty.
The amount of television viewing time rises from about 2 1/2 hours per day at the age of five to about four hours a day at age twelve (Gammon, 1998).
During late adolescence viewing time levels increase 2 to 3 hours per day (Torr, 1998).
At six months of age, a child will be entertained by a children’s television program almost 50% of the time (Torr, 1998).
At two years of age, a child will watch children’s television programs 78% of the time, but will still imitate the actions of a live person more than those of a person or action on the television.
, by three years of age, the child will attend 95% of the time to a children’s show and will imitate a televised model to the same extent as a live model (Levine, 1996).
The sophistication of children’s attitudes towards television content changes dramatically over time: 34% of children aged five to seven believe that commercials always tell the truth (already a very low percentage), but this drops to 5 % by the age of eleven to twelve; relative to the attention paid to programs, attention paid to commercials drops by 21 % between the ages of five and seven and by 42% between the ages of eleven and twelve (Media Awareness Network, 2005).
... -bit about television violence: by age 18, a child will have seen at least 150, 000 acts of violence on the television. By age six, most children will ... very difficult but the evidence will eventually surface in the years to come. Perhaps then the tele vision companies and corporations ...
Violence has always played a role in Television. But there’s a growing concern that, in recent years, something about media violence has changed. Laval University professors Guy Paquette and Jacques de Guise studied six major Canadian television networks over a seven-year period, examining films, situation comedies, dramatic series, and children’s programming. The study found that between 1993 and 2001, incidents of physical violence increased by 378 per cent.
TV shows in 2001 averaged 40 acts of violence per hour (Public Health Agency, 2003).
Throughout the cycle of life we imitate others in order to learn new thing and to reinforce our identity within a particular group. The following are stories of children imitating characters from television with tragic results; A five year old boy sets his home on fire, killing his two year old sister following a Beavis and Butthead episode. The boy’s mother describes him as “addicted to Beavis and Butthead,” two cartoon characters who enjoy setting fire and other antisocial acts. An adolescent boy was killed by a car and several of his friends seriously injured while imitating a scene from the movie “The Program.” This scene shows a group of people tempting to prove there courage by lying down along the center divider of a busy road between lanes of cars.
A thirteen year old boy and his friend were acting out the Russian Roulette scene from the movie “The Deer Hunter.” The young boy died instantly after shooting himself in the head. Lieutenant Colonel (rest. ) David Grossman, author of the book “Stop Teaching Our Kids To Kill: A call to action against Media Violence” says there are no such things as natural born killers. On the contrary, he believe people have a natural psychological resistance to killing. According to him after World War Two, the U.
S. Army found there was only a 15 to 20% firing rate among their soldiers, which Grossman says is like having a 15 to 20% literacy rate among librarians. (Killology, 2005).
Colonel Grossman goes on to say that the army recognized this inefficiency and fixed the problem by increasing the realism and vividness of their training, replacing bulls-eyes with moving man-shaped silhouettes, video simulations, and wide screen television projections, to create an environment that would demand the immediate response to kill or be killed.
... conceptual inconsistency of Bible thumpers claims that violent video games increase the levels of violence among youth: Contrary to popular opinion and ... that were meant to establish a link between violent Media products (video games) and the rise of crime rate in this ... growing increasingly violent. In his article An Exploration of Media Violence in a Junior-High school Art Classroom, Kuan Sheng ...
The safeguard in the army was the authoritative discipline enforced by officers. The same simulations are now used in television and video games to impress the youthful audience, but without the same safeguard. In fact, some software on the market enables children to manipulate the scenes in a game to simulate their own environments by scanning in pictures of their school hallways, and morphing the faces of teachers and other students onto the bodies of the targets, making the game more real. Some advertisements for these kinds of software programs even promise ‘guilt-free’ killing. (Killology, 2005).
Music and Music Videos Music videos may be hazardous to your children’s health. The largest sampling of music video content to date reveals a disturbing amount of violence, as well as unrealistic views of racial and sexual relationships, according to researchers at the University of Toronto. The researchers found that there is a well-documented association between media violence and real-life aggression. Their findings also raised concern for the effect of violent portrayals in music videos on children’s expectations about their own safety and the way they view people of another gender or race (U of T Public Affairs, 2005).
Music and music videos are pushing into new and increasingly violent territory. When singer Jordan Knight, formerly of the popular New Kids on the Block group, released a solo album in 1999, Canadian activists called for a boycott of the album because it included a song advocating date rape (Media Awareness Network, 2005).
And when the controversial rap artist Eminem came to Toronto in 2000, politicians and activists unsuccessfully called for the government to bar him from the country, on the grounds that his violent lyrics promoted hatred against women. For instance, his song Kim graphically depicts him murdering his wife; and Kill You describes how he plans to rape and murder his mother (Media Awareness Network, 2005).’ Don’t you get it, bitch? No one can hear you. Now shut the fuck up, and get what’s comin’ to you… You were supposed to love me! ! ! ! ! (Sound of Kim choking) NOW BLEED, BITCH, BLEED BLEED, BITCH, BLEED, BLEEEEEED!’ (Source: From the song Kim, by Eminem) In spite of his promotion of violence, Eminem continues to be a commercial success. His Marshall Mathers release sold 679, 567 copies in Canada in 2000, and was the year’s best-selling album. And The Eminem Show topped Canadian charts for months in 2002, selling, at one point, approximately 18, 000 copies a week (Media Awareness Network, 2005).
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Eminem’s success is not exceptional. Extremely violent lyrics have moved into the mainstream of the music industry. The Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company, lists Eminem, Dr Dre and Limp Bizkit all of whom have been criticized for their violent and misogynist lyrics among its top-grossing artists. And Madonna’s 2002 music video What It Feels Like For a Girl contained such graphic violence that even MTV refused to air it more than once (Media Awareness Network, 2005).
The University of Toronto researchers recorded afternoon and weekend broadcasts from the four most popular music video networks: Black Entertainment Television, Country Music Television, Music Television (MTV), and Video Hits-1. Out of 518 videos examined 57 percent showed acts of interpersonal violence.
Violent videos showed a mean of six acts of violence per 2-3-minute-long segment — a total of 462 shootings, stabbings, punching, and kicking’s in the 76 videos. (U of T Public Affairs, 2005).
Video Games Violence in general and sexual violence in particular, is also a staple of the video game industry. The current trend is for players to be the bad guys, acting out criminal fantasies and earning points for attacking and killing innocent bystanders. Although these games are rated M, for mature audiences, its common knowledge that they are popular among pre-teens and teenage d boys (Focus on Family, 2001).
For example, players in Grand Theft Auto 3 (the best-selling game ever for PlayStation 2) earn points by carjacking, and stealing drugs from street people and pushers.
... him? Because Hollywood knows people will not pay to see that. This is an image of violence that the media makes. Sympathy is ... ratings on them because of the gore and violence. As a result, people tend to resort to violence ... is a known fact that violence appeals more to viewers more than anything else. Look at video games today; they even have ...
In Carmageddon, players are rewarded for mowing down pedestrians — sounds of cracking bones add to the realistic effect (Media Awareness Network, 2005).’ As easy as killing babies with axes.’ (Source: Advertising copy for the game Carmageddon) The first-person shooter in Duke Nukem perfects his skills by using pornographic posters of women for target practice, and earns bonus points for shooting naked and bound prostitutes and strippers who beg, ‘Kill me.’ In the game Postal, players act out the part of the Postal Dude, who earns points by randomly shooting everyone who appears — including people walking out of church, and members of a high school band. Postal Dude is programmed to say, ‘Only my gun understands me,’ (Media Awareness Network, 2005).
The level of violence in the gaming habits of young people is disturbingly high. In MNet’s 2001 study Young Canadians in a Wired World (which found that 32 per cent of kids 9 to 17 are playing video games ‘every day or almost every day’), 60 per cent cited action / combat as their favorite genre. Stephen Kline of Simon Fraser University reported similar findings in his 1998 study of over 600 B. C.
teens. Twenty-five per cent of the teens he surveyed played between seven and 30 hours a week and when asked for their one favorite game, their choice was ‘overwhelmingly’ in the action / adventure genre. (Focus On Family, 2001).
Because of violent video games being introduced in the last two decades, physical aggression has become more prevalent, in fact it is far more widespread among young people today. The number of violent acts committed by high school seniors has climbed nearly 50% and arrest for aggravated assaults by young people has jumped nearly 70% since 1983 (Steyer, 2002).
Web Sites Virtual violence is also readily available on the World Wide Web. Children and young people can download violent lyrics (including lyrics that have been censored from retail versions of songs), and visit Web sites that feature violent images and video clips. Much of the violence is also sexual in nature. For example, the site Who Would You Kill? allows players to select real-life stars of television shows, and then describe how they would kill them off in the series. The entries frequently include bizarre acts of degradation and sexual violence. Murder is also a staple of the Web site new grounds.
com, which features a number of Flash movies showing celebrities being degraded and killed. When MNet surveyed 5, 682 Canadian young people in 2001, the new grounds site ranked twelfth in popularity among 11- and 12-year-old boys (Media Awareness Network, 2005).
Other popular sites such as go rezone. com and rotten. com feature real-life pictures of accident scenes, torture and mutilation. In 2000, rotten.
com was investigated by the FBI for posting photographs depicting cannibalism (Media Awareness Network, 2005).
Many kids view these sites as the online equivalent of harmless horror movies. But their pervasive combination of violence and sexual imagery is disturbing. Gorezone’s front-page disclaimer describes the images on its site as ‘sexually oriented and of an erotic nature’ and then warns viewers that they also contain scenes of death, mutilation and dismemberment. The disclaimer then normalizes this activity by stating, ‘my interest in scenes of death, horrifying photos and sexual matters, which is both healthy and normal, is generally shared by adults in my community (Media Awareness Network, 2005).
Anecdotal evidence suggests that gore sites are well known to Canadian schoolchildren, although parents and teachers are often unaware of their existence.
In MNet’s 2001 survey, 70 per cent of high school boys said that they had visited such sites (Focus On family, 2001).
The presence of violence, degradation and cruelty in a range of media means that children are exposed to a continuum of violence, which ranges from the in-your-face attitude of shows like South Park to extreme depictions of misogyny and sadism. Young people generally take the lead when it comes to accessing new media but the MNet survey found that only 16 per cent of children say their parents know a great deal of what they do online. This is particularly problematic, given the results of a 1999 AOL survey which that found online activities are emerging as a central facet of family life; and that a majority of parents believe that being online is better for their children than watching television (Focus On Family, 2001).
Columbine: A Point Proven There are a lot of similarities between all school shootings.
The young shooters always felt bullied or inferior. All were submersed in a extremely violent pop culture of bloody movies and video games many saw the massacres as a way not to just get even but of a way to make themselves a center of the media’s attention. Getting your picture on the cover of a magazine; now that is going out in a blaze of glory. After the horrific events at Columbine high school, many movie makers and T. V. programmers did a lot of soul searching, acknowledging that there product ‘might’ have played some role in promoting the culture of violence.
Rage can be a shot of energizing emotion, courage to push us to resist greater threats, take more control then we ever thought we could. That approach certainly worked for Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. The two Columbine shooters not only engaged the rage, they deliberately and explosively stoked it so that they would have the courage to do the unthinkable. In the home made video made by Dylan Klebold he chants, “More rage, More rage, Keep building on!” (Bryant, Carveth & Brown, 2001).
The point here is that media companies are playing with fire, for profit alone. Violence sells like sex. It’s a highly marketable commodity that tunes into the inner angst and insecurities of adolescences. Sure, heavy metal music gives voice to kid’s anger, frustration and desire to get back at others that don’t treat them with the proper respect. But, it also feeds that anger, a dangerous game for kids who, do to a variety of other reasons and risks, are already on edge and unfortunately the number of kids who fit this description is sky rocketing. Overall we have concluded that media violence truly does have a negative impact in general, in four specific ways: o It can make fearful individuals in a society to believe that the world is a mean and violent place.
o It can cause some kids to act violently and aggressively towards others. o It can teach them that violence is an acceptable way to deal with conflict. o It can desensitize them toward the use of violence in the real world. Each individual of the modern day Canadian family maybe more or less influenced by one or another of the previous underlying statements. They all come into play and they all have to be addressed if this condition is going to be improved. As time passes and researchers focus more on the effects of Media Violence, we will know more about the short and long term influences.
The teen culture of rage, fueled by violence glorifying movies, music and addictive first person shooter games, may have painful long term ramifications for all of us. Kids are being raised on violence as a culture and as a society we may soon reap even more disturbing rewards. The price of all of this is more then explosive violence by a handful of troubled kids. It may in many ways be the future that all of us face, as a generation that has been repeatedly exposed to intense, realistic violence grows up with more acceptance of aggression, less resistance to brutality and less compassion there has indeed been a numbing affect. The real problem with media violence is merely political. Each side try’s to lay blame on the other in order to deflect attention and pressure from its own fault.
The politicians of course never lose. The powerful gun and enormous quantity of media lobbyists don’t lose. It is only the families, the kids and the quality of our national way of living that suffers from the lack of responsible solutions. Throughout this paper it was impertinent that we had a wide variety of sources in order to draw proper conclusions. This included conducting once in depth survey and completing two separate interviews to gather outside information that no text book could provide. We used surveys because it is a very large sample group, in fact we gathered information many different age groups which in turn gave us a great perspective as to where people stand on the issue of Media Violence.
Our interviews included a Catholic Priest and a mother of four children. The priest gave us great insight on how the church perceives the issues surrounding Media Violence, how they expect the congregation to deal with it and what they expect from the Catholic community in regards to responsible media awareness. The Priest was able to give us great examples of how Catholics are not being conscientious of the major impacts that people are over looking. Father Greg was also affective for our interview because he has such an extensive back ground in the development and study of morals and ethics that affect our social surroundings. His input greatly benefited our paper because it gave us such an in depth analysis of how the modern day Canadian family is being affected and how being a part of a faith group is more then just prayer. His interview greatly proves that the Church is an important in developing a strong understands of the social justice issues that surround our society.
The second interview was completed with Julia Shepley, a mother of four, including Sara. She gave us such an amazing view as to how mothers and fathers cope with the effects of media on there family. Having children of with such a wide age gap, she was able to show us how media affects children at different steps in there cognitive development. She gave insight as to how a family must face the problem head on and how parents must take an active role in their children’s lives. This helped prove our point that indeed media is affecting the modern day Canadian family in many ways. Not only negative but also in some positive ways because it is forcing them to realize that it is impertinent for family’s to spend quality time together in order to prevent the harmful side effects of media violence.
Our surveys were very useful when it came to writing our argumentative essay. It gave us an outlook from everyday children from the elementary school level up until high school. We were able to sum up where and how children were coming in contact the most with media violence and the psychological effect that it held upon them. Once we graphed all of the information gathered from our extensive research, we were able to see the trends especially in regards to age groupings and their perceptions on media violence. Interviewee: For this interview we chose to speak with Father Greg, our local priest from Our Lady of Help of Christians here in Wallace burg. We chose to Interview him because we feel it is important to get an in depth look at how the church views the epidemic that is Media Violence.
Father Greg has a lot of experience dealing with children in a wide range of age groups and he has seen the transformation that has occurred to due Media Violence. 1. Sara – “So are your ready to begin?” Father Greg – “Ready when you are.” 2. Jeff – “As I told you over the phone Father Greg, my partner and I are conducting interviews on the effects of Media Violence within our society. We thought it would be an excellent opportunity to see how a man of faith views this issue. So let us begin by saying thank you for taking time out of your day to do this with us.” Father Greg – (Slight Laugh) – “Oh no problem, feel free to ask me anything, I only hope I can give you two some decent answers.” 3.
Sara – “Why do you think Media Violence is becoming an issue within the Catholic Church?” Father Greg – “Well I think, people feel powerless before offensive portrayals of sex and violence in the media. The Church is now calling for everyone to address intelligently and effectively a problem which affects the very fabric of our national culture. Our ability to respond to each other with dignity and respect is eroded by whatever demeans the human person. The Church has an obligation to dignify, enhance and humanize the culture. It has had that role historically, and it has a critical role in doing so today.” 4. Jeff – “Who does the Church believe is responsible for the portrayal of violence in the media?” Father Greg- “It is really apparent that decision-makers who create and broadcast offensive material and programming bear most of the blame.
Advertisers that support such material and programming also bear a heavy responsibility. Government bodies have abdicated a good deal of their responsibility for monitoring the broadcast media, and they should be urged back into action. Consumers who buy and use this kind of material on the one hand have become its victims and on the other, have enabled its production with their support. All people who passively accept what they get from the media and don’t complain when they see, read, or hear things of which they do not approve add to the problem.” 5. Sara- “Does the Church have a special role in this area?” Father Greg – “Well, because the Church has the ability to assemble, educates and persuades people, it does have a special role. We can convene people and facilitate activism; use our pulpits to alert families to their responsibility to take a pro-active stance; call on business people to examine their investments to see if they put money into companies producing violent material.
The churches can urge neighbors to talk to neighbors when they see a problem in local stores and video arcades. The Church can remind parents to explore their children’s media interests with them and be sure that children are provided with wholesome entertainment. In fact, for 60 years the church has alerted families to the moral quality of movies through its rating system. In a matter like this, the Church also wants to work with other faith groups because this is a problem that undercuts the morality of our entire society. In talking over these issues with other Christians and with Jewish and Muslim partners of dialogue, I find that they have the same concern regarding gratuitous violence in the media. The churches and other faith groups can also advocate for access to the media so we and groups who share our concerns can be present in the media as alternative voices.” 6.
Jeff – “So how much do think the media really affect us? Father Greg – I have no doubt that the media can cause young people and adults, as well to be confused about what is right and wrong and what behavior is acceptable and what is not. The media uses sexual content quite a lot in dramas and in sitcoms. People are assumed to be sexually active outside of marriage from at least the late teen years, and those who are not are made fun of. It’s quite disturbing. Advertising even demeans sexuality by using it as a means of selling products. Programming and video games present violence as something to be enjoyed for itself without any moral context or purpose.
However, it should be emphasized that even in the unlikely event of its being proven that wrong messages about violence in the media have no effect in real life; the Church would still have to challenge them. Messages that demean sexuality and marriage and lack respect for the integrity of the human person are wrong in and of themselves.” 7. Sara – “Since violence on television is make-believe can it really hurt us?” Father Greg – “When you consider the graphic violence found in the media today, which would have been ruled unsuitable by any moral person only 20 or 30 years ago, it would be hard to argue that society has not become largely desensitized to violence. The media’s escalating use of graphic violence in speech and action has been influential in this.
The media has made us accustomed to bad language, angry talk and demeaning terms which no longer have the capacity to shock us. They enter from art into life, as the media celebrities who use them are made into “heroes” by the media themselves. At the same time, young people have been swamped with physical violence through the news and entertainment media, and that too no longer has the shocking effect it ought to have. An atmosphere has been created in which at least a few people no longer feel the restraints they ought to about resorting to violence, as some terrible events in the last few years demonstrate.” 8.
Jeff- “Do you think the Internet helps to portray media violence?” Father Greg- “It seems to me, that the Internet creates an atmosphere where many people are victimized. Many people turn to the Internet because the immense overload of information that can be given and how everything seems to be right at everyone’s fingertip, which quickly becomes an addictive quality. Ultimately society is a World Wide Web victim. There is no better proof of media violence then on the internet because so many people have direct access to it. On the other hand we have this instrument for so many good and useful purposes and then it turns out that appalling web sites are among the fastest growing category.
As a result, parents and schools and the whole industry for that matter have to spend time and money on figuring out how to alter the internets influence so that the it can be useful in the way it was intended to be. 9. What do you think Canadian Families should do? Father Greg – “Families need to protect their homes. They wouldn’t welcome visitors who trashed their homes, and they shouldn’t welcome visitors through media who trash their minds. Parents need to watch TV with their children, and ask their children to share what they ” re viewing on the Internet. They need to avoid not only physical violence but also violence in the way we speak to one another and even think about one another.
Families can also make a wise decision by putting the family computer in a common room where family members can share what they ” re viewing. Parents can critically view media with their children and thereby teach them to develop standards for judging media. They should know the content of the video games they buy for their children and what games are available at the mall. All this should be accomplished in an atmosphere of trust in which children will be willing to share their concerns knowing that their parents will not automatically expect the worst. A 14-year-old is naturally going to be curious. Parents can share that curiosity, for example, by listening to the music the children listen to and asking what they hear in it.
10. Jeff – “But don’t you think that is a little time consuming?” Father Greg – “Sure it’s time-consuming, but the media is so much part of our lives, so capable of forming negative attitudes by their very persuasive ideologies, that parents should give the media an attention comparable to what they give to their children’s school.” 11. Sara – “So what do you think the government can do?” Father Greg- “Government its seems to me has abandoned the regulations it used to exercise in regards to media content. It may be possible to restore at least some regulatory vigor, although such attempts will always meet strong resistance from media lobbying. A good sign is Congress’s mandate to manufacturers to include in new television sets a v-chip which, in conjunction with a rating system which the television industry has developed, will enable parents to program their children’s viewing. Even where it does not use its legislative or regulatory authority, government can use its ‘bully pulpit’ to encourage industry’s self-regulation.” 12.
What can parishes do? Father Greg – “Parishes can form groups to talk over media values and discuss what’s good and what’s bad. Some times young people are tempted to play their parents off other parents. Parents who know that other parents share their attitudes can be more confident in dealing with their children. But not only parents are concerned about media. Parishes can convene all interested parishioners so they can reassure one another of the worth of their concerns. They can help in developing skills for addressing government or media representatives.” 13.
Sara-“Well that just about sums up most of the questions we had. Thank-you so much for taking the time to help us gain some insight on the different perspective the Church has on Media Violence, its going to be of great help to our project.” Father Greg-“Oh no problem, hope I was of some help, you two have a great day.” Jeff and Sara – “Oh you too.” Interviewee: For our second Interview, we chose to Interview Julia Shepley because she has a great insight on the effects of Media Violence on Children as she is a mother of four, two girls ages 18 and 15, and two boys, ages 12 and 10. She is able to give us unbiased information as she has had the experience of raising both boys and girls. 1. Sara- “Do you think the parents are not aware of the extent of the influence of the media violence on their children?” Julia- “Parents I think may know of the media’s influence but feel it is easier to just do nothing about it. T.
V. makes it hard to control access to a wide range of programming. Ads make current movies look exciting and desirable and my kids complain that ‘everybody else’s parents let them see it,’ and it sometimes seems as though that it must be true. I try and explain to my kids how much impact the media has on them and how it is different with every age group, although it is still hard for them to understand why they are not allowed to watch a certain television show or play that really cool new video game. Its hard too because I know that my children are probably going to be allowed see that certain banned program or that extremely violent movie at a friend’s house and that my children’s friends are going to be allowed to see it so it makes it twice as hard for me to regulate everything that they are seeing or playing.” 2. Jeff- “What do you think is the difference between pretend play when you were younger and that pretend play that your kids have today?” Julia- “In the violent programs I remember from my childhood, the good guys always won, only bad people died, and they did so with little blood and no guts.
I think two of the major differences today are the increase in violent, gory, even gruesome deaths and the confusion created when good people are not always the winners. A few years ago, I was watching a popular program that involved police as the dumb guys who often lost the battle to the clever crooks. This would have been unthinkable when I was growing up. Of course, children then had fewer television programs to watch, spent far fewer hours front of the TV, and spent more time learning how to invent and play out their own fantasies. We had imaginations, now a days it’s really quite rare to see children out playing in the yard. 4.
Jeff-“Why do you think kids are attracted to Media Violence?” Julia-“I think that Kids are really attracted to it because it comes down to the point that since they are not allowed to watch it the crave twice as much. Do you get what I’m saying? If I ever say no I know that they want to watch it more, but I put my trust in them that they will respect my rules that I have in our house. As a parent I don’t make rules for the fun of it, any parent will agree with me that it would be a lot easier to just let your kids do what they want, but that wouldn’t be very healthy for the kids. I think Kids are really attracted to it because its not something they see everyday, you don’t walk down the street and see someone shooting everything in sight, no, the things kid’s see on T. V. is exciting and new and I think that helps them be more attracted to it.
5. Sara- “What forms of Media do you notice violence the most in?” Julia- “I tend to see a lot of violence in Movies and T. V. Where its different with movies is that you know which movies are violent so if you don’t want your kids to watch them then you don’t rent them. The problem with T.
V. is you don’t know what programs contain what and I can’t always be in the room supervising what my kids are watching. You don’t know what programs are going to pop up next. I notice now more then I did when Sara was younger that video games have become extremely violent.
For Christmas when Sara young we bought her a Nintendo thing, and the games that she had or wanted were not fighting games but more ‘educational’ in a sense. Today my boy’s have a game cube system and when I go shopping at Christmas and stuff all the games that I see have violence in them so its really hard to find games without it really. I think Ads that run on T. V. are starting to promote violence too. Even previews in movies.
You just don’t know what’s going to be on them and it’s impossible to know every violent program and every violent commercial.” 6. Jeff- “Violence in today’s world in the media, can make children feel frightened, unsafe and insecure. As a parent what do you do to work with it or around it?” Julia- “Kids are hearing about and have to deal with tough issues such as violence at extremely early ages. I never used to hear even half of the stories that my kids tell me. It’s really scary as a parent to know some of the things our kids are exposed to, so I can only imagine how my kids feel at times. I think parents an opportunity to talk with their children about these issues first, before everyone else does.
Even in such hard times, parents still can raise healthy, confident, secure children who know how to solve problems peacefully and make good decisions to protect themselves. Parents should talk with their kids to help them learn the right information and to pass on the values they want to instill. 7. Sara- “How important do you think that communication with your children is, in order to understand media violence?” Julia- “To me communication is the most important component that I share with my children. It is important that you talk with your kids openly and honestly. Use encouragement, support and positive reinforcement so your kids know that they can ask any question-on any topic-freely and without fear of consequence.
I have learned to provide straightforward answers; otherwise, my kids may make up their own explanations that can be more frightening than any honest response you could offer. If you don’t know the answer, admit it! Then, find the correct information and explore it together. Use everyday opportunities to talk. Some of the best talks that I have ever had with my kids have taken us places when we least expect them to.
Children feel better when they talk about their feelings. It helps them lift the burden of having to face their fears alone and I think it lets them know that there parents are humans too and do have some information that is useful. If I sense that something bad has upset my youngster, (Jeff Laughs hysterically) I might say something like, ‘That TV program we saw seemed pretty scary to me. What did you think about it?’ and see where the conversation leads. 8. Jeff- “How important do you think it is to monitor the media with you children?” Julia- ” I think that watching too much violence-whether on TV, in the movies, or in video games-can increase the chance that children will be desensitized to violence, or even act more aggressively themselves.
I always pay special attention to the kinds of media my kids play with or watch. Parental advisories for music, movies, TV, video and computer games really do help. I also encourage my children to think about what they are watching, listening to or playing-how would they handle situations differently? Also something as simple as watching the news and other media with my kids allows me to discuss current events like war, and can provide an opportunity to reinforce the consequences of violence. I try to keep my kids busy too with extra curricular activities such as hockey, lacrosse, soccer, music and dance or whatever they are interested in. Sure it takes a lot out time out of our day and a lot of energy on mine and my husband’s parts but in the end we know they are doing something productive and healthy. 9.
Sara – “Do you limit the amount of time your children spend in front of the T. V. or playing video games, etc?” Julia-“Yes I try and limit the amount of media my kids take in. I try to get more quality family time in with them.
I think that is a big problem these days with families is that they don’t spend enough time just sitting around talking. We like to get out of the house and do stuff as a family. Our family loves to vacation. Another great way I try to limit media is for example during Lent, I try and get them to give up something they love doing which usually always involves the internet, television or video games.
This gives them a good chance to do something productive without sitting in front of the ‘boob tube’ all day. 10. Jeff-“Do you see a difference in the way how your girls express their anger differently compared to boys?” Julia-“With my girls its usually yelling and screaming, nasty name calling or really hurtful words that they always wish they could take back. They rarely resort to physical violence and if they do its usually just the typical girl stuff, you know pulling hair and pushing and stuff. But since they are getting older, we are seeing this kind of behaviour a lot less because I think they are trying to solve there problems like adults. This is great to see because it lets me and my husband know that we have done a good job raising them.
With my boys the scenario seems to be quite the opposite. When Joel and Eric get angry, physical violence seems to be the first thing they resort to. They do less thinking about how they could solve the issues by just talking about it and they assume that punching and hitting is the only way to solve the problem. They know if they do this they are just going to get themselves into more trouble.
My kids always say “You and Dad always get us into trouble,” but my husband always responds “No you get yourself into trouble we try and keep you out of it.” 11. Sara-“Do you censor what your children watch?” Julia-” Yes. I am always aware of what my kids are watching when they are at home. I have such a wide range of age groups in my house, from ten to eighteen, Eric the youngest isn’t going to be allowed to watch the same thing’s that Sara is going to be allowed to. I don’t let my kid’s watch anything stupid, anything that contains swearing or extreme violence.
I don’t let my kids watch shows like ‘The Simpson’s’ or ‘South Park’ because all those shows do is promote violence, swearing and they don’t provide anything good that our kids can learn and grow from so there is not going to be any time wasted in my household watching them. 12. Jeff – “Does Media Violence effect how your kids deal with anger?” Julia-” Yes. Kids often imitate what they see so they think it is okay to act violently when they get upset. Often they see people on T.
V. or on there video games when they get angry in the negative way they act out. So as parents my husband and I have the job to express our anger in positive ways so our kids can learn and imitate that. We try and show them that it is not okay to go shoot someone if they are mad at them and that it is not okay to use physical violence to solve there problems.
We always stress that you should talk about problems and find solutions we can use to fix them.” Sara – “Thanks Mommy for letting us interview you, you gave us some quality answers.” Julia – “Oh you know me I’m full of useful information, hah a.” Jeff-“Thanks J-Shep! Hey, what are you guys having for dinner?” Media Violence and Effects on the Canadian Family Hi, we are Gr. 12 students from Mr. Sekerak’s Sociology Class. We are doing a survey to determine the amount of violence that is portrayed within the media and the effect that is has on young people and the modern day Canadian Family. Please be honest with all of your answers, as the results will be kept confidential.
Thank-You for taking the time to fill out our Survey Circle the one answer that most applies to you 1) Are you: Male or Female 2) What Grade are you in: 6 9 123) How many hours per week do you watch television? 0-4 4-8 8-12 12-16 16+4) Do you think it is appropriate for kids as young as 10 to be exposed to blood, guts and gore on television or in video games? Yes or No 5) Do you play violent video games? Yes or No 6) If you answered no to the previous question skip to #7, if yes please tell us how many hours a week you spend playing video games? 0-4 4-8 8-12 12-16 16+7) Do you physically fight with your friends or siblings? Yes or No 8) When you get angry do you express yourself in a violent manner? Yes or No 9) Are your parents aware of the games you play? Yes or No 10) How much time do you spend on the Internet over the course of a week? 0-4 4-8 8-12 12-16 16+11) Do you think that kids are? Heavily influence by media violence slightly influenced by the media violence Not influenced at all by media violence 12) Do you have violent role models? Yes or No 13) Do you think media Promotes violence? Yes or No 14) Do you think parents are aware of the media violence that kids today are exposed to? Yes or No 15) Do you parents limit the amount of television you watch? Yes or No Just sixty years ago the invention of the television was viewed as a technological curiosity with black and white ghost-like figures on a screen so small hardly anyone could see them. Today that curiosity has become a constant companion to many children. Television, video game, music and the Internet has all but replaced written material. Unfortunately, as we have come to learn in this paper, violent media programs are endangering our society. Violent images on television, as well as in the movies music and on the internet have inspired people to set spouses on fire in their beds, lie down in the middle of highways, extort money by placing bombs in airplanes, rape, steal, murder, and commit countless other shootings and assaults. All of the case studies that we have researched prove that media violence can have negative affects on children and the family as a whole as well.
It increases aggressiveness and anti-social behavior, makes them less sensitive to violence and to victims of violence, and it increases their appetite for more violence in entertainment and in real life. Media violence is especially damaging to young children, because they cannot tell the difference between real life and fantasy. Violent images on television and in movies may seem real to these children and sometimes viewing these images can even traumatize them. Despite the negative effects media violence has been proven to generate, no drastic changes have been made to deal with this problem that seems to be getting worse.
In our opinion, society as a whole, has glorified this violence so much that violent movies, music, video games and websites are viewed as normal, and are considered everyday entertainment. Sara and I both agree that it’s even rare now to find a children’s cartoon that does not depict some type of violence or comedic aggression. What we have come to realize though, is that it is the children that are ending up with problems. Unlike most rational, educated adults, many children are gradually beginning to accept violence as a way to solve problems and are imitating what they observe on television. Kids do not understand that the violence is shown strictly because the public wants to see it.
They cannot grasp the meaning of “ratings” and “entertainment” as well as adults can. All they know is, if the TV portrays violence as cool, then it must be cool. The problem isn’t the violence in the media though; it is the media’s failure to show the consequences of violence. This is especially true of cartoons, toy commercials, and music videos. Children often do not realize that it hurts to hit someone else because they see it all the time on TV. Everyday a cartoon character is beat up, injured, or killed, only to return in the very next episode, good as new.
As a result, children learn that there are few, if any repercussions for committing violent acts. Unfortunately, as long as there is an extremely high public demand for violent shows and movies, the media is going to continue on the same path. And because it looks as though the ‘violence craze’ is going to continue for some time, we need to be dependent on parents to reduce the effect that media violence has on children, which can be done in so many different ways. First of all, from the research that we have conducted, we believe that parents should limit the amount of television children watch per day from the average 3 to 4 hours, which is actually double the amount of recommended hours, to 1 to 2 hours. We now know that children are exposed to far too much violence every day on TV, mainly because parents see the TV as a convenient babysitter. By limiting the amount of time spent in front of the “boob tube” as Julia Shepley likes to call it, parents will compel their children to do something more productive like reading a book or playing outside.
In limiting TV time, parents also need to monitor what programs their children are watching and restrict the viewing of violent programs. Just because a child is not watching as much violence, does not mean he or she still can’t be influenced by it. Parents should also make a greater effort to better develop their children’s media literacy skills. They need to help children to distinguish between fantasy and reality. Without proper instruction, children often have a hard time drawing the line between what is real and what is make-believe. We feel parents should teach their children that real-life violence has consequences, in that pain is real and death is permanent.
They need to understand that weapons and other acts of violence can inflict serious and life-long injuries. This can be done simply by watching television with children and discussing the violent acts and images that are portrayed. It really is that simple. They should ask children to think about what would happen in real life if the same type of violent act were committed. Would anyone die or go to jail? Would anyone be sad? Would the violence solve problems or create them? Just asking children how they feel after watching a violent TV show, movie, music video or a playing a violent video game is enough to move them from their innocent dream world into reality. Finally the easiest and most simple way to keep children away from excessive media violence is to teach them alternatives to violence.
Parents should not be so quick to let their children plop down in front of a TV set. They should interest their children with something much more productive and exciting to do. However this task is completed, it is important for children to be given the proper support in dealing with issues of violence. If not, they could end up like one of the thousands of criminals sent to prisons and on death row for mindless and unnecessary acts of violence. We are bombarded continually with images of violence, brutality, and sexual immortality. When children, teen-a gers, and adults all mindlessly automatically imitate and follow the leader, it is hard to believe that there are so many non-aggressive and non-violent people in the world.
The reason for this is education. We, as a humane society, learn in the early years of our life that violence is wrong. It is important for this education to continue with each passing generation. Mass media can have a very negative effect on children, but with the support of parents and a little control, the television can be turned into a beneficial tool rather than negative impact. Appendices Page # 1 Jordan Knight, formerly of the popular Eminem came to Toronto in 2000, New Kids on the Block group, released a Politicians and activists unsuccessfully Solo album in 1999, Canadian activists called for the government to bar him from called for a boycott of the album because the country, on the grounds that his violent it included a song advocating date rape.
lyrics Promoted hatred against women. Grand Theft Auto 3 (the best-selling game Duke Nukem hones his skills by using ever for PlayStation 2) earn points by car- pornographic posters of women for target jacking, and stealing drugs from street practice, and earns bonus points for shooting people and pushers. naked and bound prostitutes and strippers who beg, ‘Kill me.’ Appendices Page # 2 The presence of violence, degradation and cruelty in a range of media means that children are exposed to a continuum of violence, which ranges from the in-your-face attitude of shows like South Park to extreme depictions of misogyny and sadism. The site Who Would You Kill? allows players to select real-life stars of television shows, and then describe how they would kill them off in the series. Works Cited Books: 1) Dyson, Rose A.
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