Free sample essay on Violence on Television:
Violence on television can play a positive or negative role on society. When evaluating violence on TV, the negative affects it has on society greatly outweigh the positive. Violence on television has been entertaining viewers for decades and has played a big role in their lives. Viewers tend to copy the things they see on television and violence is shown often, influencing people act violently.
Violence can be found everywhere on television. The news often centers its reports around homicide, rape, assault, and gang related cases. With these types of activities being promoted over charity and good will activities, it is hard to see the difference between right and wrong. This could cause people to use violence as a source of attention, knowing that it is recognized by the public. Many TV shows actually base themselves around violence in the form of fighting and murder. When viewers closely follow these shows, they extract the violent messages that are shown and sometimes act them out. These are two of the many ways television shows violence. Violence can also play positive roles on society by scaring viewers away from horrifying events and showing the various ways that violence can hurt people.
Even though violence plays a positive role in society, it is obvious that the negative affect it has plays a much bigger role. With the reduction of violence, crime and violence rates could possibly drop but with the emphasis TV puts on violence, this will probably never happen.
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Effects of Television Violence on Children and Teenagers
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Effects of Television Violence on Children and Teenagers
Does violence on television have a negative effect on children and teenagers? The violence shown on television has a surprisingly negative effect. Television violence causes children and teenagers to become less caring, to lose their inhibitions, to become less sensitive, and also may cause violent and aggressive behavior.
Television violence causes children and teenagers to be less caring, to lose their inhibitions, and to be less sensitive. In a study on the connection between violence and television done with 1,565 teenage boys over a six-year period in London, William Belson, a British psychologist, found that every time a child saw someone being shot or killed on television they became less caring towards other people (Kinnear 26). William Belson also discovered that every time a child viewed this violence on television, they lost a fragment of their inhibitions towards others (Kinnear 26). In addition to William Belson’s study, studies done by many scientists and doctors show that seeing violence on television causes viewers to become less sensitive to the pain of others (Mudore 1).
Furthermore, television violence causes aggressive behavior in children. Many people believe that children who watch violent television programs exhibit more aggressive behavior than that exhibited by children who do not (Kinnear 23). According to the results of many studies and reports, violence on television can lead to aggressive behavior in children (Langone 50). Also, when television was introduced into a community of children for the first time, researchers observed a rise in the level of physical and verbal aggression among these children (Langone 51). The more television violence viewed by a child, the more aggressive the child is (“Children” 1).
Television violence is also a cause of both violent and aggressive behavior in teenage boys. According to the evidence in a study done by Turner, Hesse, and Peterson-Lewis, it was concluded that watching television violence had a long-term increase in aggression in boys (Hough 1). In addition to this study, Dr. William A. Belson evaluated fifteen hundred boys, aged thirteen to sixteen years, and he determined that boys with heavy television exposure are more likely to commit violent acts than other boys (Langone 51). In Belson’s study, he discovered that the effect of each violent act on television was collective, and over time, Belson discovered that the boys engaged in many aggressive acts, including painting graffiti, breaking windows, aggressive play, swearing, and threatening other boys with violence (Kinnear 26).
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Furthermore, violence shown on television may cause violent behavior in both children and teenagers. The Federal Government concluded that high levels of television violence could lead to violent behavior in children (Kinnear 24). Surgeon General C. Scott Everett Koop reported that exposure to violence on television is a factor in childhood violence (Langone 49). Also, George Comstock, a leading authority on the effects of violence in television and film, found in studies he reviewed, that watching television violence increased the level of violent behavior in children (Kinnear 27).
Television violence causes children and teenagers to become less caring, to lose their inhibitions, to become less sensitive, and also may cause violent and aggressive behavior. Television violence has been around for a very long time and this violence that is shown on television must be stopped. Parents should take action in their communities to bring about the lessening of television violence by writing a letter to their cable company, starting a petition, and by limiting the television programs their children view.
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Kinnear, Karen L. Violent Children. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1995.
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Mudore, Constance Faye. “Does TV Violence Kill?” Current Health 2 Feb. 2000. 3 Nov. 2001