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Children Watching Television Can Be A Powerful Influence Media Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Media
Wordcount: 2225 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Children watch an average of three to four hours of television daily.  Television can be a powerful influence in developing value systems and shaping behavior.  Unfortunately, much of today’s television programming is violent. The first 2 years of life are considered a critical time for brain development. TV and other electronic media can get in the way of exploring, playing, and interacting with parents and others, which encourages learning and healthy physical and social development. Television is a powerful teacher for children and it’s the most influential on them beside that it is the hugest learner for them as they spend most of their leisure time in front of it and as most of cartoons and kids television shows or films became way too violent, therefore children attitudes will be controlled by violence, consequently Cartoon violence is an issue which recently has been growing in importance. Nowadays it is extremely difficult to find a TV channel that is 100% children friendly. Most channels have children programing mixed with commercials or movies previews that are completely inappropriate for children. Children of different ages watch and understand television in different ways, Many cartoons contain situations in them that contain blood, hitting, guns, pushing, name calling, and more serious stuff such as chopping off of heads,killing,fighting which is considered as violence consequently Violence has been seen in cartoons more and more as time pass. These cartoons are marketed toward very young children who could not really understand the message of the cartoon . Studies have been done by scientists and child researchers in many countries over the last thirty years. These studies have tried to find out what it is about television violence that makes it such a big influence on the way kids act and behave , and most of the results were as listed below. Firstly 73% of individuals who commit crimes in cartoons and children’s shows go unpunished in violent scenes

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Television shows that allow the character who commits the crime to receive no punishment, teaches children that it is alright to commit a crime because nothing will be done. Criminals and violent acts do not get punished. Another effect is that 47% of violent television programs show the victim going unharmed, especially in cartoons.

The person in the cartoon or television show gets bowled over by another character and they get back up without being harmed.  Children begin to believe that violence doesn’t really hurt others. Another example is that the director demonstrates in the cartoon that Violence is a good way to solve problems, to illustrate more

if children are always viewing their favorite characters using violence or aggression to get what they want, and they succeed in getting it easily without getting any harm what will be the reaction of a children..of course he will do the same. These effects let Children believe that there’s more violence in the world than there actually is. Moreover Television creates heroes out of the people who commit the crimes in almost a very big number of cartoons so as a result of what was just stated that Kids feel that if they copy the criminal they will be a hero, too. The hero that commits the crime is glamorized. There is nothing heroic about violence and it is wrong to show kids that it is. Children begin to think of criminals as powerful role models. Viewers who enjoy “violent” heroes tend to believe that violent justice is necessary and good. The hero of TV shows never gets in trouble for his/her violent actions. The hero is always “justified” in one way or another when committing violent acts. “TV rarely shows the consequences of violence. Another opinion which could be stated as an effect also is that Television reduces the value of life, TV makes violence and even death seem funny and unreal. For instance a character in a cartoon is chasng another and he falls off a cliff or whatever this theme in the cartoon is showed in a very funny way which let audience even laugh This is something which is really revealed in cartoons for that reason Children do not learn to respect life because violent television desensitizes them. In addition to Children cannot tell the difference between real and unreal The people in the stories are make-believe and imaginary. They are actors and the story is not true. Young children are unable to realize that when a character attacks someone it is not real and should not be imitated. Think about it, many young children still believe in the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and Santa Claus.  How can children tell the difference between real violence and the make-believe violence done with a script for television? Children aren’t working on social skills and job skills ,they aren’t even doing homework or reading. Most of children do nothing more that watch TV and Parents seem to be happy with this as along as the cartoon doesn’t promote sex, that’s another problem that parents doesn’t know how far those violent cartoons can harm their kids. Furthermore cartoons attain false sense of reality that may encourage children to try things that they see their favorite super hero do, such as in superman, batman, Spiderman these cartoon characters are created that they can fly and children are obsessed with such characters accordingly there are children who make what they do. Thus not just because the cartoons your children are watching don’t show sex or violence doesn’t mean that they are innocent. Because of this false sense of reality children at a young age can’t tell the difference between cartoons and realism so an increase of 34% isn’t a small jump when talking about injuries to children. Violent behavior is a learned trait, “Most psychologists agree that experiences children have during their early years will have a longstanding impact in their lives. “What a child learns about violence, a child learns for life,” states ACT against Violence. The organization breaks down the early years of TV viewing development this way:

From birth to 18 months, infants are interested in TV only for brief periods of time because they are attracted to the light and sound. From 18 to 36 months They pay much more attention to what is on TV and are able to get meaning from programs they watch. They react equally to animated violence and real violence because their link between fantasy and reality is not strong.

preschoolers from 3 to 5 years Children look forward to shows. They understand what they are viewing, but cannot give it a context. They cannot judge reality versus fantasy or commercials versus regular programs. They are attracted to highly vivid scenes, rapid movement, sound, and color. In other words, most children pay the most attention to the most violent scenes on the screen. As for elementary school age from 6 to 11 years Children believe that TV reflects real life and will become more active and show more aggressive behavior after viewing violent scenes. High viewing levels have been shown to interfere with reading development.” Not only this but these violent behavior has an effect on these children till they grow up and be adults & this was stated by researchers from the university of Michigan, It showed that men and women who watched violent TV programming as children were more inclined to show violent tendencies as adults. Results show that men who were high TV-violence viewers as children were significantly more likely to have pushed, grabbed or shoved their spouses, to have responded to an insult by shoving a person, to have been convicted of a crime and to have committed a moving traffic violation. Such men, for example, had been convicted of crimes at over three times the rate of other men. “Women who were high TV-violence viewers as children were more likely to have thrown something at their spouses, to have responded to someone who made them mad by shoving, punching, beating or choking the person, to have committed some type of criminal act, and to have committed a moving traffic violation. Such women, for example, reported having punched, beaten or choked another adult at over four times the rate of other women” Several recent studies show that the quality of the content that children watch on television matches closely with their later level of academic success. Watching less TV increases a child’s likelihood of successfully finishing university, although watching higher quality programmes with educational content can help children achieve academically.

Between the ages of five and eleven the less television watched, the greater the probability of success at school and beyond. This finding is amplified for the middle, ‘average’ range of intelligence. Having a television in the bedroom is also likely to contribute to lower grades or even failure.

“A shocking study by television researchers Bandura and Ross was done to get at the truth about the effects of television violence on children. They split a group of kids into Groups A and B. Next, they showed Group A a videotape of a child acting very aggressively with a doll. For example, the girl in the video hit and kicked the doll. The children in Group B were shown a tape in which the same girl was having a tea party with the same doll. Later in the experiment, they put the Group A kids in a room alone with an exact copy of the doll used in the video. Children in Group A responded by hitting and kicking the doll and acted aggressively. The children in Group B were also put in a room alone with the doll and they played very nicely with it. There are similar studies that show how violence on television increases the likelihood that children who watch will demonstrate aggressive behavior towards others. Children imitate what they see on television.” And this study proves the serious harmful effects on children, not only this there are more than hundreds of studies and researches which proves the same case also.

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TV is full of programs and commercials that depict risky behaviors such as sex and substance abuse as cool, fun, and exciting. And often, there’s no discussion about the consequences of drinking alcohol, doing drugs, smoking cigarettes, and having premarital sex. For example, studies have shown that teens who watch lots of sexual content on TV are more likely to initiate intercourse or participate in other sexual activities earlier than peers who don’t watch sexually explicit shows. Alcohol ads on TV have actually increased over the last few years and more underage kids are being exposed to them than ever. A recent study by an Alcohol marketing found that youth exposure to alcohol ads on TV increased by 30%. And although they’ve banned cigarette ads on television, kids and teens can still see plenty of people smoking on programs and movies airing on TV. This kind of “product placement” makes behaviors like smoking and drinking alcohol seem acceptable. In fact, kids who watch 5 or more hours of TV per day are far more likely to begin smoking cigarettes than those who watch less than the recommended 2 hours a day.

All these effects on children and we didn’t yet recognize TV effect on our children health. TV may cause serious harms on health as overweight and obesity, a number of studies have linked being overweight with TV watching, because it reduces children’s physical activity, a television in a child’s bedroom has also been reported as a strong predictor of overweight.

For the previous stated effects we have a graph estimated on a questionnaire which will show people points of views on that topic:

That’s another graph which shows how people believe that violent cartoons has a great effect on children:


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