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Television and Growing Up: The Impact of Televised Violence

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With every passing day people await the next big box office hit, the next episode of their favorite sitcom, or the latest news, but do they realize how what they are viewing could be effecting them. With violence growing in our media and entertainment could it be effecting the way people behave toward each other. Could there be more to the blood on the screen or the shove witnessed by the television viewer ?When the evidence says that it does why are there so few people doing something about it.

In 1972 a report was released by the surgeon general called "Television and Growing Up: The Impact of Televised Violence," it stated that there was strong evidence that televised violence can be harmful to young viewer. Yet since then the standards for banning violence in the media has lessened. The standards for rating movies have been lowered and made easier to comply with. Movies that wouldn't have even made it to the public in the 1970 are on the shelves at public libraries for teens to check out and view as they please.

At younger and younger ages kids see what only adults used to view. " Children are now bombarded with explicit messages on a scale unlike anything our culture has ever seen." A quote given by Tipper Gore in her book "Raising PG kids in an X-rated society. With all of these graphic and gruesome things kids see today the effect becomes quite apparent in stories such as these. " In New York City a grammar school child sprayed a Bronx office building with gun fire and explained to an astonished police sergeant that he learned how to load his Uzi-like gun because " I watch a lot of television."

In fact according to Viewing Violence by Madeline LeVine, Ph. D. "No study has ever found any benefit to young children from watching violence. So why if there is no good cause for the violence do we keep producing the graphic images. Many people might say that explicit scenes are in movies and on television are there for the sake of popularity. But as Jeffrey H. Goldstein said (Page 88) If violence were a necessary and sufficient condition for popularity with children all popular programs would be violent and all violent programs would be popular.



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