Does Violance on Television Cause Aggressive Behavior

Topics: Violence, Aggression, Television Pages: 5 (1856 words) Published: October 8, 1999
An 18-year-old boy locks himself in his room, mesmerized for hours by the corpse-filled video game Doom, while shock-rocker Marilyn Manson screams obscenities from the stereo. Shelved nearby are a video collection, including the graphically violent film Natural Born Killers, and a diary, replicating the unrestrained expressions of hate and death, published on the boy's personal website. Should this boy's media preferences be cause for alarm? The question is not new, but the April 20,1999 massacre of 12 students and a teacher by fellow Columbine High students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold has added urgency to the search for answers. The Littleton, Colorado teenagers reportedly immersed themselves in the same media described above, even producing and starring in their own murderous video before gunning down their classmates, and apparently taking their own lives. We live in a world of violence -- Kosovo, Bosnia, the West Bank, and abortion clinics.The value of human life has reduced to, simply, a few vital organs in a hollow body. Life is no longer viewed as the sacred and amazing gift that it is. Human life is now only a temporary, useful commodity. And, when it is no longer useful? Well, it can be thrown away, like used Kleenex. This irreverence for life has been a result of numerous hours of senseless violence society feeds into their brains every day. Yet, media representatives defend the entertainment industry, denying any direct link between violent media and violent behavior. In many peoples' living rooms, there sits an outlet for violence that often goes unnoticed. It is the television. The children who view it are often pulled into its realistic world of violent scenes with sometimes devastating results.Much effort has gone into showing why this glowing box, and the action that takes place within it, mesmerizes children. Research shows that it is definitely a major source of violent behavior in children. The statistics prove time and time again that aggression and television viewing do go hand in hand.Research shows the truth about television violence and children. Some are trying to fight this problem, while others are ignoring it, hoping it will go away with yesterday's trash. Still, others do not even seem to care. However, the facts are undeniable. The experiments carried out, all point to one conclusion: television violence causes children to be violent, and the effects can be life-long.Here is the scene: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and a well-armed Elmer Fudd are having a standoff in the forest. Daffy, the ratfink has just exposed Bugs' latest disguise. Bugs then, takes off the costume and says, "That's right, Doc, I'm a wabbit. Would you like to shoot me now or wait until we get home?" "Shoot him now! Shoot him now!" Daffy screams, "You keep out of this," Bugs says, "he doesn't have to shoot you now." "He does so have to shoot me now!" says Daffy. Full of wrath, he storms up to Elmer Fudd and shrieks, "And I demand that you shoot me now!" This is an example of the violence on television that "experts" speak.One study done by Feshbach and R.D.Singer (1971), suggested that watching television actually decreases the amount of aggression in the viewer. The experiment supposedly proved that the violence on television allows the viewer to relate with the characters involved in the violent act. In doing so, the viewer is able to release all aggressive thoughts and feelings through that relation, causing them to be less aggressive than they would have been without watching the violent television. This is like saying, for example, that a medical student, in his final years at Harvard Medical School, would simply give up studies and say, "Oh, well, what's the point in going to school to be a doctor, when I can simply watch ‘General Hospital' and get the same satisfaction." This of course is absurd, as are the above theologies. These experiments do not...
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