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Tvs Affects on Children

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Thesis Statement: Television plays a major role in the lives of Americans, but affects children the most.


I. Violence

A. Murder

B. Sex

C. Vulgarity

D. Suiside

II. Viewed by

A. Children

B. Teens

III. Used as babysitter

A. Hours

B. Reason


Today's society is heavily influenced by television. The violence disrupts a child's learning process and can alter the moral beliefs that an older person has. Children view more violence on Saturday mornings than any other time. The cartoons aimed at little children influence youngsters to mimic violent acts because their parents do not fully explain the effects of the stunts. It is pathetic that in such a technology based society, such a simple thing as television can have a negative effect on people.

Before Television, Americans followed simple laws, believed heavily in God, were honest, and never locked their doors because they felt safe and were happy to help someone in need. TV gradually turned us into the society we have today. We break laws as if there are no consequences, many people don't believe in God, or even attend a religious service. We lock our houses, cars, and anything worth money, because we are scared of theft. We leave people in trouble to fend for themselves, we do not have the common courtesy to help anyone. (Wheeler 84) Liquor, drugs, sex, and suicide prematurely dazzle millions of people as they see it on TV. (Wheeler 23)

Violence has been entering Prime Time TV. John Grisham's "The Client" as shown on CBS shows two corpses and two murders in on the first 15 minutes. (Silver 2) This goes to show that the average American child will have watched 8000 depictions of murder by the time they finish 6th grade. (Abelard 1) Abelard goes on to say, If you think wall to wall violence on TV has no effect, then why would manufacturers purchase 30 second blocks to advertise their products? (2) Mark Silver says "Raunchy family fare is nothing new."(2) He also reports that sex is gingerly mentioned in the media. There is soap-opera sex, talk-show sex subjects, and many more sex crimes on the news. Children ages 10 to 16 were polled and say that the television is the true sex educator in our day. As many as six out of ten agree that sex on television urges peers their age to have sex at a younger age. (2)

Vulgarity also rules prime time. Many shows depict sexual situations and innuendoes throughout the whole show. Sexually frank programs such as "Beverly Hills 90210", "Roseanne" and "Ellen" are targeted to adults, but are viewed by children. A Solution to this problem would be to shift their plots to being more realistic, and have morals, instead of the vulgar language heard. (Silver 1)

TV shows create serious problems but seem to resolve them in a half an hour time. It is impossible to do this in real life, but most children can not seem to grasp this concept. TV leads children to want quick solutions to tolerate frustration. Many turn to suicide, thinking that it is the quick solution for them. (Wheeler 34)

Before the 1950's, parents monitored what their child's surrounding was. After TV was introduced, it unlocked a door to an alien that dominated every home. The problem was that the parents did not remain in control. If they did a normal childhood could have taken place. (Wheeler21) Today, 99% of homes have a TV. More families own a TV than a phone. (Facts about Media Violence 1)

Due to violence on television, children become less sensitive to that pain and suffering of others or to become more aggressive to others. It also makes children more fearful to the world around them. (Abelard 1) Viewing habits of children observed for many decades deduced that violence on TV is associated with aggressive behavior, more than poverty, race, or parental behavior. It also reported that a TV show contains about 20 acts of violence an hour.

Abelard says that children ages 6 to 8 are in critical years, where they learn social behavior that will stay with them forever. (2) A follow up study of aggressive 8 year olds proved that these children grew up to be ever more aggressive 19 and 30 year olds. They had greater troubles in domestic abuse, and traffic tickets. (Abelard 3)

Violent commercials that advertise action figures or video games are targeted at young boys. (Swenson 3) In the point and shoot video games, also targeted at children, young boys get the same training as police officers and army recruiters. They are taught to laugh and cheer in response to violence and are also taught that killing is the right thing to do. (Media Watch Online 1)

It is a different story for teens. They do poorly



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