Mass Media and Violence
Is it hard to believe that just forty years ago only a few privileged families had televisions in their home? In recent years, it is estimated that a whopping ninety-eight percent of families have one or more television sets in their home. Motion pictures, televisions, video games, and the internet are just some forms of mass media that have emerged since the last century. With the rise of mass media, the increase of violent behavior has increased as well. Mass media influences many factors of people’s lives such as moral beliefs, behavior, and values. Violence in mass media is greatly dominating our society and continues to do so. It causes aggression and is a growing epidemic among the youth. Scott Barbour praises the American Academy of Pediatrics: “The vast majority of studies conclude that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between media violence and real-life violence. This link is undeniable and uncontestable.” It is no lie when they say the average child witnesses 200,000 acts of violence on TV by the age of eighteen. Watching violent TV shows or movies promotes aggression. People want to follow what everyone else is doing so they will follow and may even commit what these actors are doing on the television. According to L.R. Huesmann, research shows that fictional TV and film violence contribute to both short and long-term increase in aggression and violence in young viewers. Children are in particular are affected by violence, aggression, in our media because of their helpless psychology. Some forms of aggression include truancy, lack of social skills, and failing out of school. It is no doubt that the media that promotes violence and aggression is the same one to have an effect on society. This is a monkey see, monkey do world and people may not even know that they being effected, but they are.
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