It is very evident that television plays a tremendous role in the society we live in. It can spark imagination, creativity, even take a person out of reality and put them into an imaginary world. Television keeps you informed with news and current events going on around the world, it can take you to unknown places that a person otherwise would never be able to visit, it provides access to the arts, even music and so much more.
Although most people look at television as an entertaining and educational way to spend time, some people think there is too much violence in television and that is influencing young members of society into becoming aggressive in nature and learn tolerate violence. Can extensive watching of television cause a significant negative impact on the behavior of the youth today? TV can play a very important role in shaping a person attitude, and behavior but can all TV programs have a negative impact on behavior?
Let’s take a look at some of the statistics of television for us to understand a little more about why TV is blamed for bad behavior in youth and adults. According to Nationmaster. com 98. 5 percent of homes in the United States have at least one TV with ninety percent having at least two televisions and eighty-seven percent of homes have at the least a DVD player or VCR. (Nationmaster) With so many homes having TV’s, television has become a debatable issue as many researchers and psychologist question the influence of programs on the attitudes and behavior of today’s youth.
According to psychological researches done on youths, violence on television can have a negative impact on the youth. It is estimated that by the time a child starts high school that child will have viewed 8,000 to 10,000 acts of violence whether it be from watching cartoons or a drama crime show. (Villani) Children, who are allowed to view programs in which the violence is very realistic, are more likely to try to imitate what they see on the show. Children that already have emotional, behavioral or control problems may be even more heavily influenced than a child that does not have the emotional ties.
Young children and young adults can even be affected by what they are watching even when they have a stable family atmosphere that shows no tendency towards violence. A Study done in October of 2007 showed that out of 3,205 children between the ages of eight and sixteen who watched more than two hours of television in a twenty-four hour period was associated with problems with aggressive behavior towards family and peers. “Most of the scientific evidence… reveals a relationship between television and aggressive behavior.
While few would say that there is absolute proof that watching television caused aggressive behavior, the overall cumulative weight of all the studies gives credence to the position that they are related. “Essentially, television violence is one of the things that may lead to aggressive, antisocial, or criminal behavior. ” (Signorielli) Television is not the only factor in causing aggression among today’s youth, there are many factors. However, television is one of the greatest factors that can cause aggressive behavior in children. This is especially evident in the U. S. Many criminals confess that their violent actions or attitudes were encouraged by TV.
This is becoming a great problem of our society as the rate of criminal behavior is constantly growing. With so much crime being showed on television, it can negatively affect children’s attitude towards school, lifestyle, career, family, and even their future. Television programs should be monitored by parents and limited to the amount of time spent watching TV that does have crime related scenes. Parents should also explain to the child that the violence they see on television is not real and what the consequences would be if it were real.