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Television, Movie, And Music Violence And The Impact On Teen Behavior

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Most people in our society generally have the opinion that violence in television, movies, and music increases aggression in children and adolescents. Does it? Who is to say whether media has a positively direct effect or a positive correlation? However, the majority of the people who have researched this topic have discovered that violence in television, movies, and music is indeed one of the main factors contributing to the increase in violent and aggressive behavior among the youth in the world. Violence in the media helps promote and encourage children and adolescents to freely express their abusive behavior. As a result, the topic of my essay will help support the issue that violence in the media causes abusive behavior in youths.

Television, Movie, and Music Violence and the Impact on Teen Behavior

Today's society is heavily influenced by television, movies and music. In other words, the world is inundated by the media that surrounds us. The violence disrupts a child's learning process and can change the moral beliefs that an older person has. Children view more violence on Saturday mornings than any other time. The cartoons intended for children influence youngsters to mimic violent acts because their parents do not fully explain the effects of the stunts. It is sad that in such a technology based society, such a simple thing as television can have a negative effect on people.

Before television, Americans followed simple principles, believed in God, were honest, and never locked their doors because they felt safe and were happy to help someone in need. Television, movies and music gradually turned us into the society we have today. We break laws as if there are no consequences, many people don't believe in God, or even attend religious services. We lock our houses, cars, and anything worth money, because we are scared of somebody stealing it. We leave people in trouble to fend for themselves, we do not have the common courtesy to help anyone. (Wheeler, 1993, p. 84) Liquor, drugs, sex, and suicide prematurely overwhelm millions of people as they see it on TV. (Wheeler, 1993, p. 23)

Violence has entered Prime Time TV. John Grisham's "The Client" as shown on CBS shows two corpses and two murders in on the first 15 minutes. (Silver, 2000, p. 2) This goes to show that the average American child will have watched 8000 portrayals of murder by the time they finish sixth grade. (Abelard, 2000, p. 1) Abelard continues to say, if you think wall to wall violence on TV has no effect, then why would manufacturers purchase thirty second blocks of time to advertise their products? (Abelard, 2000, p. 2) Mark Silver says "Raunchy family fare is nothing new." (Silver, 2000, p. 2) He also reports that sex is gingerly mentioned in most media. There is soap-opera sex, talk-show sex subjects, and many more sex crimes on the news. Children ages ten to sixteen were polled and say that the television, movies, and music are the true sex educators in our day. As many as six out of ten agree that sex on television urges peers their age to have sex at a younger age. (Silver, 2000, p. 2)

Vulgarity also rules prime time. Many shows depict sexual situations and innuendoes throughout the whole show. Sexually frank programs such as "Beverly Hills 90210", "Roseanne" and "Ellen" are targeted to adults, but are watched by children. A solution to this problem would be to shift their plots to being more realistic, and have morals, instead of the vulgar language heard. (Silver, 2000, p. 1)

Television shows create serious problems but seem to resolve them in a half an hour time, while movies do it in two hours. It is impossible to do this in real life, but most children can not seem to grasp this concept. Television and movies lead children to want quick solutions to endure frustration. Many turn to suicide, thinking that it is the quick solution for them. (Wheeler, 1993, p. 34)

Before the 1950's, parents kept an eye on what their child's surrounding was. After television was introduced, it unlocked a door to an unknown that soon dominated every home. The problem was that the parents did not remain in control. If they did a normal childhood could have taken place. (Wheeler, 1993, p. 21) Today, 99% of homes have at least one television. More families own a television than a phone. (Facts about Media Violence and Effects on the American Family, 2000, p. 1)

Due to violence in television, movies, and music children become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others or become more aggressive to others. It also makes children more fearful to the world around them. (Abelard, 2000, p. 1) Viewing habits of children observed for many decades deduced that violence in television, movies and music are associated with aggressive behavior, more than poverty, race, or parental behavior. It also reported that a television show contains about twenty acts of violence an hour.

Abelard says that children ages six to eight are in critical years, where they learn social behavior that will stay with them forever. (Abelard, 2000, p. 2) A follow up study of aggressive eight year olds proved that these children grew up to be ever more aggressive nineteen and thirty year olds. They had greater troubles in domestic abuse, and traffic tickets. (Abelard, 2000, p. 3)

Violent commercials that advertise action figures or video games are targeted at young boys. (Swenson, 2000, p. 3) In point and shoot video games, also targeted at children, young boys get the same training as police officers and army recruiters. They are taught to laugh and cheer in response to violence and are also taught that killing is the right thing to do. (Media Watch Online- Killer Entertainment, 2000, p. 1)

It is a different story for teens. They do poorly in standardized tests. Because of their time consuming television, movie, and music habits they find it hard to make comparisons, reach conclusions, make judgements or create new ideas. When bored, teens tend to turn to hard drugs to take away boredom, because they viewed it on television, in movies and heard it in music. Drugs offer a quick fix, which is what they saw other fictional



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