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Violence on Tv and Children

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A child is watching his favorite cartoon, Mighty Morphine Power Rangers. After the show is over the child jumps up and runs around in a state of bliss hitting things the way that his favorite character did. This scene is all too well known to parents. The question that arises is, "Does aggressive or violent television cause a person, mainly children, to act in a aggressive way?" Well research has shown that the answer to this question is yes.

During the time that children watch television there is an enormous amount of violence shown. The article, "Is Violent Television Destroying Our Children" gave the amount of violent acts shown on a randomly chosen day. The statistics were, "2,605 violent acts were shown on Thursday, April 7, 1995, on a Washington, D.C home wired for cable.... 566 of those acts were shown between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m.- the most prime time that children are watching [Kolbert D20]".(Marqette p.1) This is an alarming thought. If it is true that violence on television leads to aggressive behavior, then children are prime suspects for becoming aggressive.

Bandura did a study on the effects of aggressive behavior being displayed to children. What he did was to have the children watch a grown man kick a beat a BoBo doll. Then the children were agitated by not being able to play with toys that they liked. After they were mildly upset, they were brought into a room with a BoBo doll and allowed to play with it. The other group of children where not exasperated as the others were. The children who were made to be slightly upset, and watched the person beat the BoBo doll, acted more aggressive towards the doll. They even went to the extent to hit it and say the same thing as the grown-up did. This is just one of the studies done to prove that hostile behavior is learned by others (this includes from others on television).

Another study was done by Huesmann and Eron. They studied 758 children that were in the first grade to the third grade. They found not only that television had a vast impact on children, but when children watched violent shows, they displayed more aggressive attitudes. They also founded that, "...about 95% of the violent behavior was exhibited by these young children, was from boys." (Booth). Another study conducted by George Gerbner, Ph.D showed, "The children who watched the violent shows were more likely to strike, argue, and disobey authorities than those who did not watch violent television." (Booth). It also mentioned that when the child gets older he is more likely to engage in deviant behavior.

Evidently there is a positive correlation between television and aggression, it is important to say what people say are the negative effects. They are:

1. learning aggressive attitudes and behaviors;

2. Emotional desensitization toward real world violence

3. Increased fear of being victimized by violence, resulting in

self- protective behaviors and mistrust of others. (Mediascope, p1.)

These effects can be very detrimental to a child and can result in the "mean world" syndrome. This is the person believes that the world is as scary and dangerous as it is presented on television. This can result in a person who is paranoid of what might happen to them. They become, "increasingly suspicious and apprehensive." (Menninger,p2). These are mainly just the short term effects, but there have also been studies concerning long-term effects.

Roy W. Menninger, MD, mentions the study that evaluated eight, eight-teen, and thirty year olds. The survey concluded that young



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