ce?Eng. IIIFebruary 11, 2004 Today it seems that the connection between youth violence andentertainment is getting closer and closer. Analysts, doctors,psychologists and everyone else who studies the minds of children arealways stating that children being driven over the edge because of violententertainment they associate themselves with. Children and teenagers seemto acquire nothing but negative influences from violent entertainment andthat will only corrupt a youth’s mind. Influencing them to create horribleand shocking crimes. But this is just a lie from desperate mouths searchingfor some type of scapegoat.
It’s not only the media that influenceschildren to corruption, but the environment around them. Maybe for oncesomeone should look in the direction of the mental health of children andtheir surrounding environment, instead of placing all the blame on thetelevision. In 1950, only 10% of American homes had a television and by 1960 thepercentage had grown to 90%. Today 99% of homes have a television. In fact,more families own a television than a phone.
Now, 54% of U. S. children havea television set in their bedrooms. Children spend more time learning aboutlife through media than in any other manner. The average child spendsapproximately 28 hours a week watching television, which is twice as muchtime as they spend in school. During the past decade, America has witnessed an alarming increase inthe incidence of violence in the lives of children.
On a daily basis,children in America are victims of violence, as witnesses to violent actsin their homes or communities, or as victims of abuse, neglect, or personalassault. The causes of violent behavior in society are complex andinterrelated. Among the significant contributors are poverty, racism,unemployment, illegal drugs, inadequate or abusive parenting practices, andreal-life adult models of violent problem-solving behavior. It is not thechildren’s fault that they posses a violent nature. This is what the naturethey have been brought up around. It has been the only world they have everknown.
At the same time that there has been an increase in the number ofreported violent acts directed at children, there has been an increase inthe amount and severity of violent acts observed by children through themedia, including television, movies, computer games, and videotapes, and anincrease in the manufacture and distribution of weapon-like toys and otherproducts directly linked to violent programming. Although, the media doesreflect the violence across the world it also gives children a differentperspective on crimes acuring frequently. But, if you limit your childrento what they watch on T. V.
, you might limit the violent nature they mightattain over the years. For most kids, the effect of media violence is fairly small, so longas the examples they see on TV and in movies are balanced with goodexamples, values and morals, set and followed through by parents and peers. But for children who grow up with poor adult examples or an unclear idea ofwhat’s right and wrong, media violence can have a greater effect. Whenchildren grow up with few examples and morals set by others around them,they sometimes adopt a celebrity as a role model.
If they see someone theylook up to promoting violence either on TV or in movies, they may thinkthat violence is the right or “cool” thing to do. This mindset is veryoften the cause of violent acts by children and teens. The prevalence of violence in American society is a complex socialproblem that will not be easily solved. Violence in the media is only onemanifestation of the larger society’s fascination with violence. However,media violence is not just a reflection of violent society, it can also acontributor sometimes.
If our nation wishes to produce future generationsof productive adults who reject violence as a means of problem solving, wemust reassert the vital role of government in protecting its mostvulnerable citizens. This starts with creating more programs across thenation keeping kids out of hostile environments. No matter where you go,there will always be violence. It is just human nature to commit crimes onone another.
So instead of blaming the media, why don’t people startblaming ourselves. BibliographyJohnson, J. , Christie, J. , & Yawkey, T. (1987).
Play and early childhooddevelopment. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman. National Institute of Mental Health. (1982). Television and behavior: Tenyears of scientific progress for the eighties.
Vol 1: Summary report. Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office.Tuscherer, .