THE EFFECTS OF MEDIA VIOLNCE ON CHILDREN
On April 20 1999 two boys by the names of Dylan Klebold and
Eric Harris walked into their High school in the little town of Colombine Colorado
and opened fire on their fellow classmates.Some say it was the parents others say
just pure teen adolescence, I say it was the media.
In the 1950’s Television was first introduced to America, only
ten percent of the families owned a one television in their home, by 1960 that
number increased to a mere 90% of the people owning a TV, but now a whopping
99% of homes in our country own a TV. 54% of chidren have one in their own
Television has become so much of a part of are existense that it
is virtually impossible to imagine life without it. We all love TV.
We can’t help
ourselves. But the question is what is TV doing to us?, and how much is too much?
Children begin to react to television at a very early age, studies
show that by the age of three, 95% of children will imitate someone on TV as they
would a real live person, and children between the ages of six and ten believe that
most of what they see on television is true life.
Children learn more about life through the media than any
other matter. It is said that the average child, from the ages of three to twelve will
watch a minimum of 28 hours of TV a week, meaning children spend more time in
front of the so called “Boob Tube” then they do in the classroom. This makes them
very vulnerable to the effects that television causes.
The average child will witness over 200,000 thousand acts of
violence on television including 16,000 acts of murder in his lifetime.
Violence in the
media leads many children to become very aggressive, by watching aggresson
how to become aggressive, and they also believe that if they act out in a certain
manner of aggression they may get rewarded for it, because they just saw their
favorite cartoon knock some guy out for a bag of candy.Watching the violence that
does go on in the media, not only causes children to act out towards others but
also makes them beleive that other childeren acting out aggressively is alright. But
can you expect when the number of violent acts increases from 3-5 acts during
prime time hours to 20-25 different acts of violence on Saturday morning.
The more violence you start to take in at a young age the more
you want to see as you get older. Violence is like a drug, it starts out in a harmfull
manner, but increases as time goes on. Children might start out watching a very
small amount of violence on TV such as they see a cartoon charecter hit their friend
over the head, which they will most likely imitate and as times goes on they will
become more daring in their acts.
Take Walt Disneys movie “The Program” for
example. In one part of this film it it features three young men lying down in the
middle of the highway dodging cars, but after this movie was released, of course
three young men tried to imitate the scene, all three were killed. Another movie that
has been closely imitated is “Interview with a Vampire”.The story that goes along
with this movie is that a young man took his date out to see this movie, after the
movie ended he killed her and sucked her blood. A cartoon such as “Beavis and
Butthead” also has impacted the way children react to what they see on TV. A five
year old boy had just finished watching the episode in which they are playing with
fire, the next thing you know his house has been burnt down and his sister has
These are just a very few examples of what the media has caused children to
Too much TV fo children also causes many other problems.
Studies suggest that children who watch more then others have a higher risk of the
usage of tobacco, alchohol and a younger onset of sexual activity. It can .