Machine gun fire, explosions, and screams for help are only a few of the sounds that can be heard emanating from a child’s bedroom today, while his parents listen nervously just outside his door. Horrified, these parents shake their heads ruefully, wondering at the power of entertainment available for kids nowadays. Sometimes they even argue whether it is right for their child to have access to this sort of violence: the kind found in most video games, television shows, and movies all over the world. But honestly, does it make a difference in the child’s development as a productive member of society, and if so, can a parent really do anything about it? These are the questions that researchers of the subject hope to answer conclusively In order to understand how media violence has an effect on children, different variables must first be examined. To begin with, children of various ages understand what they are watching very differently.
Most of it depends on the length of their attention spans, the way they go about processing their information, the amount of mental effort that they put in, and their own life experiences. These stages are broken up into five parts. The first part is the effects on infants. Infants or children up to 18 months old can “Pay attention to an operating television set for short periods of time, but the attention demands a great effort and infants are more interested in their own activities.” 1 Even when it seems that they are focusing on the television, infants will usually not be able to comprehend what is going on. They take it as a bunch of “Fragmented displays of light and sound”, which they can only recognize and put together certain pieces and characters. Although there is no evidence yet as to the effect of media violence on infants, there is still evidence that infants may imitate some behavior that they have seen on television.
When I was 2 years old, my family had the first TV. Since that time, television had become an inseparable thing in my life. In my memory, if I wanted to watch television for a long time, I needed to struggle with parents in many ways. For instance, I remember that my parents only allowed me in front of television for 2 hours per day. So, I would get up in the midnight and watch TV secretly. ...
The toddler period begins at roughly two-and-a-half to three years old. It is at this point that they begin to pay more attention to the television when it is on. They also begin to develop a minute capability to take some meaning out of what they watch. They are also more likely to copy what they see on television.
Children, who are at preschool age, three to five years old, start watching television with the intent of understanding the content. They are drawn to fast-pacing images, which tend to be violent. “Because television violence is accompanied by vivid production features, preschoolers are predisposed to seek out and pay attention to violence – particularly cartoon violence.” 1 Elementary school age, age’s six to eleven, is the critical point of observing the effects of television on children. It is at this stage that children “Develop the attention span and cognitive ability to follow continuous plots, to make inferences about implicit content, and to recognize motivations and consequences to characters’ actions.” 1 Between these ages children usually still watch cartoons but also start to watch “real life” television shows. It is at this stage that they become more tolerant of violence in the real world.
Adolescence, between the ages of 12 to 17, usually is the most trying time in a person’s life. However when it comes to media violence this is not true for most teens. When watching television a teenager has high levels of abstract reasoning and thought which allows them to doubt the reality of the content, and much less likely to identify with its characters. The problem thus arises with “The small percentage of those who continue to believe in the reality of television and to identify with its violent heroes.” 1 Due to the fact that adolescence is the prime time for arguing with authority figures, this makes them, the minority of teenagers, the most vulnerable to imitating some kind of television violence and crime. The National Television Violence Study (NTVS) had analyzed 10, 000 hours of television for violent content for a three-year period. “About 60% of programs contained violence, and only 15% of those programs showed its long-term consequences.
The average American child watches an average of three to four hours of television daily. Over a year's time that add up to about 12, 000 violent acts witnessed on television (Television... Children). After a child has witnessed a violent program, they tend to act different. Parents need to be able to distinguish between dramatic or imaginative play and imitation. During dramatic play children ...
About 40% of the ‘bad’ characters went unpunished, and in almost three-quarters of the scenarios, violence was presented without remorse, criticism, or penalties. More than half of the programs failed to associate violence with pain, and more than a third of the perpetrators were physically attractive.” 2 According to this, the only shocking factor is if children would not show any signs of violence as they grow. Just as they learn things at school and apply it to life, so too with the things that they pick up at home watching television. According to the NTVS, “An 11-year-old will have viewed 8, 000 murders, and 100, 000 other acts of television violence.” 2 Violence is the foundation of most television shows because it is often synonymous with action, and action is used to attract viewers, especially among the young population.
Plots without murder or crime are seen as boring unappealing. In addition, many movies portray violence as satisfying. For example, heroes have been known to tempt their opponents with the phrase, “Come on, make my day.” An unrealistic fight usually ensues, in which the actors can painlessly withstand many beatings. This gives the impression to young ones that violence does not actually hurt the victim. The same goes for other forms of entertainment as well. Video games, for example, allow characters to get kicked and punched without a trace of blood, as though their injuries had not actually caused them any harm.
The Essay on A Summary of ’Mass Media, Television, and Children’s Socialization: Making Peace With TV’
A Summary of ’Mass Media, Television, and Children’s Socialization: Making Peace With TV’ It is a study written by Tatyana Dumova, Richard Fiordo, Stephen Rendahl, an assistant professor, a professor and an associate professor in the School of Communication at the University of Dacota, and was produced by The Berkley Electronic Press in 2008. At the beginning of the text the authors clarify that ...
Children are also rewarded with bonus points when their opponents are finally killed. The Senate Judiciary Report quotes Lt. Col. Dave Grossman saying that in this way, “We are not only teaching kids to kill- we are teaching them to like it.” 3 The American Psychological Association has proven the connection between media and violence through a number of studies. They have concluded that violent media affects children in three ways: firstly, they tend to be less sensitive to others’ pain, secondly, they tend to be more fearful of the world around them, and thirdly, they may be more likely to act aggressively and harmfully towards others. One study was done in Pennsylvania State University with a hundred preschool children, who were observed before and after watching various television shows.
Those who had watched violent programs were more likely to argue and / or hit playmates than those who had not. Ronald Sla by, a media-violence expert at the Education Development Center, lists four effects of media violence. The first, the aggressor effect, is the encouragement of violent behavior. The second is the victim effect, or the increase of a child’s fearfulness.
The bystander effect is third, and means that the child accepts violence as normal. Last and most importantly, is the appetite affect; which is the building of desire to watch more violence. In other words, those who get accustomed to viewing violence, begin to think that there is nothing wrong with it. This is perhaps the most terrifying information of all. Consider the harm that can be done by a population who feels that acts such as murder are acceptable- scary! Another major negative effect that violence in the media has is that it inspires people to imitate the violent acts that are portrayed in the media. An example of this can be seen from what Saul Kassin writes.
He states, “The terrifying news stories of 2001, about postal letters laced with the deadly chemical anthrax, triggered several copycat hoaxes.” 4 From this story we can see the influence that the media has on people. It is a very strong weapon, and if used improperly it may have a very bad effect. Some positive steps are being taken by directors to control the violence in movies. For instance, Director Gary Ross promised, “On each screenplay, I will ask myself what the ramifications are… to children who may see these films.” This is certainly reassuring to parents. However parents must not rely on producers and writers alone.
How the mass media effects teenage girls Have you ever been fat? If you can eat everything you want to and still can hide behind the mop you are a very lucky person. Its a pity that great amount of people need to confine their food and are stick to different diets. You can ask: why these people suffer so much? Who force them to starve? Can you believe that they do such things by themselves? And ...
It is best if they personally review the movie or video game before the child watches it. There are a few important points that you, as a parent, must keep in mind. Do not make the television the focal point of the house. Only allow your child to watch television when there is something worthwhile to watch.
Be careful when choosing what your child watches before bedtime. Children can get nightmares after having watching a show that is too violent or graphic. And do not use the television, videos, or video games as a baby sitter. In conclusion, we as parents must not fail to notice the causes of violence that can harm our children. We must protect and shield our children from the violence that emanates from television shows, movies, and video games. This is urged in concurring articles of the Senate Judiciary Committee Media Violence Report, and in the Harvard Mental Health Letter written by Dr.
Michael Craig Mille. Both articles clearly agree that violence in the media can be destructive to the mind and ultimately the physical well being of a child. Professor L. Rowell Hues mann, one of the main researchers in a study of media violence brought up a very strong point. He said that “Not every child who watches a lot of violence or plays a lot of violent games will grow up to be violent. But just as every cigarette increases the chance that someday you will get lung cancer, every exposure to violence increases the chances that someday a child will behave more violently than they otherwise would.” 3.
Bibliography 1) Wendy L. Josephson, Ph. D. (1995).
Television Violence: A Review of the Effects on Children of Different Ages.
Retrieved Nov. 17, 2004. Media Awareness Network. web) Dr. Michael Craig Miller, (2000).
Does Violence In The Media Cause Violent Behavior? Nov.
18, 2004. Harvard Mental Health Letter. web) Senator Orrin G. Hatch, (1999).
... number of that happy media is related to sex, violence, drugs, tobacco and alcohol. Children rely on the television, games, magazines, ... the desensitizing today's children from violence. A growing problem with media being harmful to children is the video gaming industry. Prior ... much the media that is being harmful to children, but rather the media that parents allow their children to watch is more ...
Children, Violence, And The Media. Nov.
18, 2004. Senate Judiciary Committee Media Violence Report. web) Saul Kassin, (2004), Psychology. Retrieved Nov.
19, 2004 New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc. THE EFFECTS OF MEDIA VIOLENCE ON CHILDREN NOVEMBER 23, 2004.