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Television Violence

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Television Violence


violence is a negative message of reality to the children who see it. There

is an excessive amount of violence being watched in millions of people's homes

every day, and this contributes to the growing amount of violent crimes that

are being committed in our communities. This cycle of more and more sex and

violence being portrayed as reality on television will not stop until something

is done.

Not one parent that I know wants his or her children watching people

getting blown away and thrown off cliffs. But the reality of it is that parents

cannot be there 24 hours a day to monitor what their children are watching.

In fact the television is often used as a baby-sitter, so that the parent can

do housework, have an adult conversation, or just relax after work.

The types

of people who are the most likely to be harmed by the surplus of violence on

TV are children. Ed Donnerstein stated in the February 15, 1996 edition of

the Boston Globe the following:

Violence turns out to do a lot of harm when

it looks harmless. One of these lessons children learn watching television

is that there are few consequences to the person who commits violence - or

to the victim. Add to this 'positive' portrayal of negative behavior the fact

that children's programs were least likely to show the bad effects of violence

and most likely to make it funny" (Goodman pg. 23).

We are showing children

that violence is humorous and it can't do harm.

A researcher by the name

of Meltzoff studied learning in infants. He concluded that babies start to

learn even before birth. A study by Meltzoff demonstrated observational learning

in 14-month-olds. After watching an adult on television handling "a novel toy

in a particular way," the babies were able to imitate the behavior when presented

with the toy 24 hours later (Wood pg.292). This study indicates that babies

learn imitation very early in life. This is why parents should be more particular

with what they allow their susceptible children to view on TV.

The Mighty

Morphin Power Rangers, television show for children, is a very good example

of how violence on TV can affect our children. It is one of the highest rated

kids television shows today. The Power Rangers are everywhere, on everything,

from lunch boxes to boxer shorts. And kids want it all. This creates a bind

for the parents who know that these items are not so good for their kids.


Power Rangers is one of the most violent shows around right now and kids love

it. The violence in the show has led New Zealand and two of the major networks

in Canada to ban the program from their daily schedules. Nancy Carlson-Paige

of Lesley College said in the December 1, 1994 Boston Globe," Locally, teachers

see evidence that Power Rangers interferes with normal childhood development.

It threatens to undermine children's mental health because of the way it influences

their play" (Meltz pg. A1).

Chris Boyatzis of California State University

at Fullerton completed the first scientific study of the impact of Power Rangers

on children. It showed that those who watch the show are seven times more aggressive

in their play than those who don't (Meltz pg. A1).

Micki Corley, head 4-year-old

teacher and coordinator of the Preschool Experience in Newton Centre said in

the same December 1st Boston Globe," They are confused by it. They mimic the

movements without understanding the consequences. I see kids saying things

like, 'If I'm the Red Ranger, I'm not really Joe hitting Mary. I'm Tommy or

Zack hitting someone evil.' But it's Mary who is hurt and Mary who cries. You

can see the confusion on their faces. They'll say, 'But I didn't do that'"

(Meltz pg. A1). One can see that at this stage in the preschooler life he or

she is not able to distinguish between real and pretend.

Kids and Power Rangers

supporters will say that the Power Rangers do have good points about them also.

They say that the characters show respect for adults, they are likable people,

and there is always a moral. In fact, the program labels the morals at the

end of each show. What we have to ask ourselves is, "Is it really worth it?"


Droz, director of research for the National Coalition on Television Violence,

conducted a study on the Power Rangers. This is what she came up with:




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