Expository Essay on Television and Youth Violence
There has been a lot of research conducted on the notions that violence portrayed in media - such as television, video, film, music, newspapers and books - can have adverse effects on the children viewing it. Many people have suggested that media has allowed violence to become so prevalent in our societies. It has also been suggested that media has been responsible in making the children violent as well. Statistics have shown that an average person watches as much as 7 hours of television every day. It does not come as any surprise that a child between the age of two and five watches approximately 28 hours of television ever week . Another thing that comes to mind is that there has been a lot of allowance of violence in the media ever since broadcasting was deregulated in 1980. These images of violence and anti-social behavior tend to entice the same in people who watch them. It has been recognized that children who are continuously being exposed to violent images in the media tend to incorporate the ideas behind violence in their learning process. The phenomenon of violence is also very complex and there are many factors that can or cannot induce violent behavior in a human being. Many people have suggested that the individuals' personalities, their family backgrounds, their cultural, educational, and religious implications, all contribute to acts of violence. It is believed that children learn from things that happen around them and also by observing people who are important to them, e.g. parents, teachers, priests etc. This is because children start to develop a sense of themselves and others and a sense of right and wrong very early . Children who are raised in a society where inequality is supported, they find more evidence of selfishness, competition and domination, which is mostly the case in various minority groups, they are more likely to grow up to be violent people . From this we can derive the fact that children are more likely to be exposed to violent material in the media if they are not supervised properly and are not guided properly. Many researches have contributed to this as realizations have been made that prolonged exposure to violence and anti-social behavior in the media to children causes them to be more involved in the use of alcohol and drugs, and cheat more in school. Even though it has been said that there is a very positive relationship between violence in a person and violence that he/she has been exposed to in the media, there are many other factors that also have to be considered when viewing the exact effect of violence in media on a child or a person. Although almost everyone would agree that children who view violence in media might turn out to be violent in their real lives, this cannot be the only factor that must be considered when drawing such a conclusion. That is to say that some of the evidence that has been gathered from the laboratory experiments and other correlational research tend to point otherwise. Some of the laboratory findings have suggested that watching violent images on television can increase the probability of subsequent maladaptive behavior . According to some researchers, this was especially true when the violence was rewarded. Andison (1977) found that the effects on aggression by viewing violence on television are not necessarily more in children as compared to the adult viewers. This research, even though inconclusive, also found that the effects of violence in media were slightly stronger on adults than they were on preschool children. These findings are very different from those that have suggested that media can have more effects on children since they are more susceptible in their growing years. Research that has been conducted in the field and also by correlation also provides some other important perspectives on this issue. These researches show that the images of violence viewed on television can have...
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