The Effects of Television Violence on Children

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It has been calculated that American kids see about 200,000 acts of violence and 25,000 murders on television by the time they reach age eighteen.” (Schleifer 18) Arrests of people under the age of eighteen for violent crimes rose forty-seven percent from 1988 to 1992. (Miller 174) The American Medical Association conducted a study that found a direct relationship between viewing and homicide. (Miller 176) Does this kind of overexposure to violence have a significant effect on children and teenagers? The answer is yes! Many reliable sources have proven that violence in the media has a negative influence in children under the age of eighteen. Statistics show that deaths and arrests involving children due to violence committed by other children has increased. Also, children that imitate characters who use violence in the media, display aggressive behavior, tend to be desensitized and give them reason to believe that violence can happen without consequence. The following paragraphs will explain how media violence shows children that violence is acceptable and that it’s ok to act in a violent manner. “Experts say children think that violence is an acceptable way to deal with problems and conflicts. (Schleifer 18, Edgar 48) One example of this is a boy named Tim whom was interviewed about violence he was involved in at high school. Tim said that what he saw television made his violent behavior seem more acceptable and it was the way to handle things. He said he learned to by what he saw on the streets and on television. “We not only tolerate violence,” says Karl Menninger, a renowned psychologist, “we put it on the front pages of our newspapers.” Children will often try to imitate the things they see on television. Some students try to capture the entertainment value they get from the big screen by acting violently in real life. (Kreiner 27) Some cartoons have come into question like The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ren and Stimpy, and Beavis and Butt-Head because there are children that have hurt and been hurt while trying to copy their favorite cartoon. (Edgar 29) In Toronto, a six-year old boy wearing a Ninja Turtle costume stabbed his friend in the arm for not giving back a toy he had borrowed. Another boy in Ottawa was caught swinging the family cat by the head and when his mother tried to stop him he said, “It’s just like Michelangelo, one of the Ninja Turtles.

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