The Effects of Television Violence on Children


What has the world come to these days? It often seems like everywhere
one looks, violence rears its ugly head. We see it in the streets, back alleys,
school, and even at home. The last of these is a major source of violence. In
many peoples' living rooms there sits an outlet for violence that often goes
unnoticed. It is the television, and the children who view it are often pulled
into its realistic world of violence scenes with sometimes devastating results.
Much research has gone into showing why children are so mesmerized by
this big glowing box and the action that takes place within it. Research shows
that it is definitely a major source of violent behavior in children. The
research proves time and time again that aggression and television viewing do
go hand in hand.
The truth about television violence and children has been shown. Some
are trying to fight this problem. Others are ignoring it and hoping it will go
away. Still others don't even seem to care. However, the facts are undeniable.
The studies have been carried out and all the results point to one conclusion:
Television violence causes children to be violent and the effects can be life-
long.
The information can't be ignored. Violent television viewing does
affect children. The effects have been seen in a number of cases. In New York,
a 16-year-old boy broke into a cellar. When the police caught him and asked
him why he was wearing gloves he replied that he had learned to do so to not
leave fingerprints and that he discovered this on television. In Alabama, a
nine-year-old boy received a bad report card from his teacher. He suggested
sending the teacher poisoned candy as revenge as he had seen on television the
night before. In California, a seven-year-old boy sprinkled ground-up glass
into the the lamb stew the family was to eat for dinner. When asked why he did
it he replied that he wanted to see if the results would be the same in real
life as they were on television (Howe 72). These are certainly startling
examples of how television can affect the child. It must be pointed out that
all of these situations were directly caused by children watching violent
television.
Not only does television violence affect the child's youth, but it can
also affect his or her adulthood. Some psychologists and psychiatrists feel
that continued exposure to such violence might unnaturally speed up the impact
of the adult world on the child. This can force the child into a kind of
premature maturity. As the child matures into an adult, he can become
bewildered, have a greater distrust towards others, a superficial approach to
adult problems, and even an unwillingness to become an adult (Carter 14).
Television violence can destroy a young child's mind. The effects of
this violence can be long-lasting, if not never-ending.

For some, television at its worst, is an assault on a
child's mind, an insidious influence tat upsets moral
balance and makes a child prone to aggressive behavior
as it warps his or her perception of the real world.
Other see television as an unhealthy intrusion into a
child's learning process, substituting easy pictures for
the discipline of reading and concentrating and
transforming the young viewer into a hypnotized
nonthinker (Langone 48).

As you can see, television violence can disrupt a child's learning and thinking
ability which will cause life long problems. If a child cannot do well in
school, his or her whole future is at stake.
Why do children like the violence that they see on television? "Since
media violence is much more vicious than that which children normally
experience, real-life aggression appears bland by comparison" (Dorr 127). The
violence on television is able to be more exciting and enthralling than the
violence that is normally viewed on the streets. Instead of just seeing a
police officer handing a ticket to a speeding violator, he can beat the
offender bloody on television. However, children don't always realize this is
not the way thing are handled in real life. They come to expect it, and when
they don't see it the world becomes bland and in need of violence. The
children then can create the violence that their mind craves.
The television violence can cause actual violence in a number of ways.
As explained above, after viewing television violence the world becomes bland
in comparison. The child needs to create violence to keep himself satisfied
(Dorr 127). Also the children find the violent characters on television fun to
imitate. "Children do imitate