Media Violence and Aggression in Children Essay

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Media Violence Causes Aggression in Children and Teenagers

"The media, particularly the news media, defends itself from the charge of encouraging violence by stating they are simply reflecting what exists. Real people are murdered every day. Those who create fictionalized views of violence(movies or TV dramas) rely on the argument that what they are producing should not be taken literally. Only the mentally inadequate would assume the violence was real or try to copy the behavior"(Greek).

Violence has been present since the beginning of the medium and in our history: political violence, ethnic violence, class violence. "You go back to the KKK, you have people committing incredible acts of violence on a grand scale. What is
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The media has both reflected and contributed to this historic transition. But, are our children becoming media victims?

John Vivian's The Media of Mass Communications states this aggressive stimulation. "In Manteca, California, two teenagers, one only 13, lay in wait for a friend's father in his own house and attacked him. They beat him with a fireplace poker, kicked him and stabbed him, and choked him to death with a dog chain. Then they poured salt in his wounds. Why the final act of violence, the salt in the wounds? The 13-year-old explained that he had seen it on television"(398-399).

In TIME Magazine, Margaret Carlson reported on a devastating story. "When two thugs sprayed a flammable liquid through a token-booth opening, flicked a match and set Brooklyn subway-token clerk Harry Kaufman on fire--an attack that mimicked a scene in the movie Money Train--stars Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes expressed deep sorrow and said they were praying for the victim. Columbia Pictures stated it was 'appalled and dismayed' at the incident as well"(20). Other shows have been mimicked too, like the "firebug antics on the MTV cartoon show "Beavis and Butt-head" and the traffic dodging pranks in Disney's 1993 film The Program"(20). But why did this occur?

John P. Murray research shows children begin watching television at a very early age, maybe as early as six

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