The amount of violence on television nowadays is inacceptable. The material that you see on shows that are “supposedly for kids” just don’t seem like it. As more and more violent television shows and programs are aired every single night, kids are affected by it in a negative way. Studies have shown that revelations of violence to kids at early ages will affect them mentally. They will either start to think nothing of violence, or be over-frightened because of what he/she may have seen on TV.
The TV channels should not be allowed to expose this kind of material and violence to kids at such early ages, because of the aftereffects it will have on the teenagers and children. First of all, there is way too much violence on television whether it is on some prime time channel, or even a Saturday morning cartoon program. For some prime time TV shows, there are three to five hours violent acts per hour. For every Saturday program for kids, there are around twenty to twenty-five violent acts per hour. (Frazier) This shows how much violence there is on “children shows”.
In a sample for the National Television Violence Study, it was found that around sixty percent of ten-thousand television programs contained violent material. (Kunkel) That is a lot! That study “identified an average of 6,000 violent interactions in a single week of programming across the 23 channels that were examined, including both broadcast and cable networks. More than half of the violent shows (53%) contained lethal acts, and one in four of the programs with violence (25%) depicted the use of a gun. (Kunkel) That means that the majority of television shows, whether for children or not, will have violence on that program more than half the time. ) Statistics also showed that the average program for children more often contained more violence then the average Adult TV. Even in some “G” rated movies, there is violence.
That is too unhealthy especially because of the effects it causes. Now, if you put that stat along with how much children watch TV daily. “An average American child watches television 21-23 hours per week. (Frazier) That means per week, 60 percent of those twenty or so hours will have something violent that will have a negative effect on the children. Also, according to the American Psychiatric Association in 1996, adolescents will have viewed 10,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence by the age of 18. (Frazier) Also repeated exposure to violence from television is unhealthy for the child’s character. With kids being around violence while watching “kid’s shows”, “the child becomes less sensitive towards its effects on victims and the human suffering it causes. (Boyse)
Research has proven in the past years that the violence on televisions indeed has a negative effect on children. Research from the National Institute of Mental Health in 1982, violence is said to lead to aggressive behavior by children and teenagers. Even before this, one of the most well-known studies done in 1963 by Bandura proved that violence has a significant effect on the people that view it. “He had a group of children view a TV video of a model who kicked and punished an inflated plastic doll. After the viewing, the children were placed in a playroom with other children who had not seen the video.
Those that saw the video displayed significantly more aggressive behavior than those who didn’t. ” Other studies showed that kids who saw violent cartoons had a high chance to not share their toys with others. Another study made in 1972 with Liebert and Baron, confirmed the findings of Bandura. “This study investigated children’s willingness to hurt other children after viewing aggressive TV programs. Two groups of children watched a different TV program, one of which had aggressive content and one of which was neutral.
Those who saw the aggressive program (The Untouchables) were found to be more willing to hurt another child after viewing the program than those who watched the neutral program (a track race). ” (Frazier) These harmful effects from the violence portrayed on television are grouped into three primary categories; “children’s learning of aggressive attitudes and behaviors; desensitization, or an increased callousness towards victims of violence; and increased or exaggerated fear of being victimized by violence.
While all of these effects reflect adverse outcomes, it is the first – an increased propensity for violent behavior – that is at the core of public health concern about televised violence. ”(Kunkel) Back to desensitization. “According to the article “Media Violence,” the American media shows heroes justifiably using violence as a means to resolve conflict. The American Academy of Pediatrics website suggests that prolonged exposure to this type of violence increases acceptance of violence as a means of solving problems.
The 1995 to 1997 AAP National Television Study showed that 61 percent of programming “portrayed interpersonal violence, much of it in an entertaining or glamorized manner. ” Children are drawn to such programming when the violent act seems surreal and the lack of consequence attractive. ” (Adams) He also stated that violence is both sanitized. “By sanitized, immediate pain and suffering by victims of violence is included in less than half of all scenes of violence.
More than a third of violent interactions depict unrealistically mild harm to victims, grossly understating the severity of injury that would occur from such actions in the real world. In sum, most depictions sanitize violence by making it appear to be much less painful and less harmful than it really is. By glamorized, I mean that violence is performed by attractive role models who are often justified for acting aggressively and who suffer no remorse, criticism, or penalty for their violent behavior.
More than a third of all violence is committed by attractive characters, and more than two-thirds of the violence they commit occurs without any signs of punishment. ” (Kunkel) One other problem children might face is overexposure to violence. “Overexposure to violence, and particularly realistically portrayed violence, may lead children to believe that the world is primarily a dangerous and unsafe place. They may begin to overestimate the possibility that they will be victims of violence, leaving them with undue anxiety and stress. (Frazier) Other than causing emotional problems, it can cause some damage to a child’s growing character or morals. “Sigmund Freud believed that children need to develop a sense of morality by the age of five or they could experience difficulties later in life. If a child doesn’t learn to understand the difference between right and wrong, she will not develop a proper understanding of guilt or remorse, and will thus be more likely to engage carelessly in behaviors that are considered socially and morally wrong.
The article “Children, Adolescents, and Television” states that research has shown television violence to have a negative effect on the academic performance, sexuality, body concepts, and self-images of young viewers, which can lead to violent or aggressive behavior and substance abuse. ” (Adams) Nowadays, with all of these “reality shows” on MTV, The E Network, etc. it’s easy and normal to see violence. Kids that watch “The Kardashians” and “Teen Mom” see their favorite celebrities act in a way that is unprofessional on television, but they don’t know better.
They want to be just like them. TV shows like those actually use violence and “incidents” to help raise their rating and popularity. (Canning) With all of these mental effects caused from too much viewing of violence, this proves how television programming should be more sensitive for the content made for children. In addition, parents should also try and contribute in filtering what their children watch on television. There are different steps you can take, that can possibly allow your child to not be exposed to such violence on TV shows.
You can try and watch television with your kids. That way, you’ll know what they watch, and you can control the content. (Boyse) Other options include previewing the content of the program or maybe just allotting them a shorter amount of time to watch TV. At least that way, there is a smaller chance for violence in the smaller time slot. (Frazier) One other good way to keep your child’s mind off of television would be to try and get them involved like other activities. Sports, reading, chores, etc. ; anything like that.
Another good idea would be to try and talk to your kids about violence in media. If you can explain to them why violence is wrong, then you can be more relieved and trust them. (Boyse) Good communication is key. If you try to convince to your child that you are only trying to be concerned and caring, they’ll understand the point you are trying to make. In conclusion, I believe that children deserve better than what is currently going on. As their role models, we need to help make their “future” safe.
We need to censor all violence from children’s programming. TV channels shouldn’t be allowed to expose inappropriate material and violence to adolescents. It causes them a lot of emotional pain, even physical. Children are like sponges. They absorb what they hear or learn. If at an early age, they are exposed to violence, killing, especially on television, where consequences aren’t even addressed… That’s not a healthy way for children to grow up. It’s best that we keep that away from the innocent.