Essay on Dose Violence On Television Cause Aggressive Behaviour
- Teenage interests
- Life — a valueless thing in the world
- TV — a tool of violence
- Violence – a connectivity link between TV & children
- Watching TV decreases amount of aggression in viewers
- Programs with a lot of violence attract children more
- Children & the desensitization to violence
- TV is not the sole factor in causing violence
- Social Leaming theory, not ignorable
An 18-year-old boy locks himself in his room, mesmerized for hours Aby the corpse-ﬁlled video game Doom. Shelved nearby are a video collection, including the graphically violent ﬁlm Natural Born Killers, and a diary, replicating the unrestrained expressions of hate and~ death, published on the boy’s personal website. Should this boy’s media preferences be cause for alarm? We live in a world of violence Kashmir, Kosovo, Bosnia, the West Bank, and Afghanistan. We are surrounded by violence.
The value of human life has reduced to, simply, a few vital organs in a hollow body. Life is no longer viewed as the sacred and amazing gift that it is. Human life is now only a temporary, useful commodity. And, when it is no longer useful? Well, it can be thrown‘ away. This irreverence for life has been a result of numerous hours of senseless violence society feeds into their brains every day. Yet, media representatives defend the entertainment industry, denying any direct link between violent media and violent behaviour.
ln many peoples’ living rooms, there sits an outlet for violence that often goes unnoticed. It is the television. The children who view it are often pulled into its realistic world of violent scenes with sometimes devastating results.
Much effort has gone into showing why this glowing box, and the action that takes place within it, mesmerizes children. Research shows that it is deﬁnitely a major source of violent behaviour in children. The statistics prove time and time again that aggression and television viewing do go hand in hand.
Research shows the truth about television violence and children. Some are trying to ﬁght this problem, while others are ignoring it, hoping it will go away with yesterday’s trash. Still, others do not even seem to care. However, the facts are undeniable. The experiments carried out, all point to one conclusion: television violence causes children to be violent, and the effects can be life-long.
One study done by Feshbach and R.D.Singer suggested that watching television actually decreases the amount of aggression in the viewer. The experiment supposedly proved that the violence on television allows the viewer to relate with the characters involved in the violent act. In doing so, the viewer is able to release all aggressive thoughts and feelings through that relation, causing them to be less aggressive than they would have been without watching the violent television. This is like saying, for example, that a medical student, in his ﬁnal years at a medical college, would simply give up studies and say, “Oh, well, what’s the point in going to school to be a doctor, when I can simply watch the video ‘General Hospital‘ and get the same satisfaction.” This of course is absurd, as are the above theologies. These experiments do not live up to good, empirical research.
lf one were to ask a child what their favorite television show is, very often the child would respond with a television show that contains a lot of violence. For example, “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” seem to have become role models worthy of imitation by children. One simply has to walk through a playground during recess, to see these children portraying their favorite violent characters. This aggressive behaviour is further demonstrated in classrooms and in the home. Playing “make believe” is really a demonstration of aggressive behaviour, because of watching violence on television.
Many studies done, suggest that violence on television does inﬂuence the behaviour of children. When viewed individually, these studies might seem insigniﬁcant, but together they form a powerful giant that indicates aggressive behaviour is a result of violence on television.
Children are sponges during their beginning years, and soak up their surroundings.
After observing violent behaviour, children are more likely to imitate the aggressive acts of the characters involved. A study conducted in the US demonstrated how children become desensitized to violence. Divided into two groups were forty-four boys and girls, in third and fourth grade. One group saw a violent western movie, and the other group did not see any movie. Afterwards, the children were asked to “baby-sit” two younger children by watching them on television. The two children on the television became progressively violent toward each other, and this is where the experiment gets interesting. Researchers found the children who had seen the western movie waited longer to get an adult to help the two violent children, than did the children who had not seen a movie. This suggests that the children who had been predisposed to violent behaviour, accepted the behaviour they witnessed between the two children they were baby-sitting, as more “normal.”
Think of a large tub ﬁlled with steaming, hot water. If you tried to jump in all at once, it would be unbearable and yogi would get out quickly. We have leamed to start out slow, dip only our toe in, until we have slowly submerged our entire body. We become “desensitized to the hot water, by slowly exposing our sensitive body to the water a little bit, slowly, over a long period.
This type of desensitization shows in society today. Every night on the news, we are plagued with horrible pictures and gruesome stories of violence and terror, but we rarely become shocked by any of it. This could very well be because exposure to so much violence on television in the past, especially during childhood, has caused us to be immune to this disease. Children who witnessed violence may then come away from the experience thinking that violence is acceptable, and they may be more likely to re-enact televised situations in the future.
The other side may say that effects on children’s behaviour are limited and temporary, but there is strong evidence supporting quite the opposite. Studies done by the top networks on television, demonstrate the negative, long range, effects excessive television watching has had on children, by citing“ now they behave as adolescents.
Children copy the actions of their favorite television character. Children emulate these “heroes” as a result of this admiration. By viewing violent television programs as real and acceptable, children are extremely likely to re-enact violence in their own lives. Unfortunately, society seems to condone these aggressive characteristics, which further confuses children. Until regulations ban these violent programs, children
will continue receiving negative inﬂuence and eventually, “fall from the nest.”
Television is not the sole factor in causing aggression; there are many factors. However, television is one of the greatest factors that cause aggressive behaviour in children. A violent home, that includes two parents ﬁghting twenty-four hours a day, can inﬂuence a child’s behaviour. If a child is constantly beat with scenes of aggression between adults, that are his/her role models, then he/she may also exhibit aggressive behaviour. Children can witness violence in many places besides television. A child can witness an argument between two people in a public place, and then _re-enact the scene at home. Even in a simple supermarket parking lot, violence is evident. Two adults ﬁghting; over a parking place could be violent towards one another… All of these instances could affect a child’s behaviour and cause them to act aggressively. None of the actions that the child witnessed was on. A television screen.
The Social Learning theory is the main argument for the side arguing that violence on television leads to aggression in children. The social learning theory claims that children copy violent scenes from television, believing that this type of behaviour is acceptable. All people are individuals; therefore, it is difficult to characterize behaviour.
Obviously not every child who watches aggressive TV shows will act aggressively afterward. However, research has provided that they are likely to act in an aggressive manner.
lt is impossible to ignore the enormous mountain of data supporting television leading to violence. Violence on television can create aggressive behaviors
Fixing the problems of children and television violence is not easy. They are many factors to consider and people to convince. This raging ﬁre will, no doubt, never go away and continue to grow as the years go by. However, there are measures that can be taken to prevent the children from ever being exposed to such things. The entertainment industry should be held accountable for the images they choose to air. Our government needs to pass stricter regulations and harsher censorship on the content, shown on television and movies. After all, what is the world going to be like when the people, who are now children, are running the world?