Television and Media - TV Violence and Children's Behavior Essay

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Television Violence and Children's Behavior

Drive-by shootings and school massacres are just two of the many violent past-times of today’s youth. Is television a contributor to this insidious erosion of children's respect for life? Much research that has been done in an attempt to answer this question. The majority of the findings are very similar in content, and the results are grim. Television violence has been shown to cause four major changes in children's behavior: "Increasing aggressiveness and anti-social behavior, increasing their fear of becoming victims, making them less sensitive to violence and to victims of violence, and increasing their appetite for more violence in entertainment and in real life." (AAP Committee)
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Children are also becoming more fearful of the world around them. Because they are exposed to so much violence on television, they are starting to expect violence to happen to them. Our children are beoming more afraid everyday. This is going to manifest itself in many ways. Children who are fearful are defensive. If they are already expecting a violent act to happen to them, tney they are going to be overly prepared to defend themselves and even more likely to initiate violence so that they can avoid becoming victims. Children who are worried about their safety are going to have less ability to concentrate on the other issues in their lives. Schoolwork, social skills, and developmental playtime will suffer.

Children are learning not to care. They are becoming desensitized to acts of violence and to the effects of those acts. These are the parents, teachers, doctors, and law enforcement officers of our future. As each generation becomes more desensitized, violence will continue to increase. Parents are repsonsible for teaching their children what kind of behavior is acceptable, but it will not be possible to teach nonviolence if parents of the future cannot recognize violence itself. The amount of caring in our society will continue to decrease in inverse proportion to the amount of violent behavior we accept as normal. If it is normal to be violent, then it cannot be normal to be nonwiolent.

The final

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