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Violance In Schools Causes Deviant Behavior

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Violence among our youth has spread widely throughout the nation. This can be linked to several problems in our society, but mainly one. The constant barrage of television and media violence causes deviant behavior in children. When children are young they are very impressionable by the things around them. Often kids are influenced by what they see. If kids are watching shows or being introduced to violent acts they too will tend to act out this violence (Huesmann and Eron, 1986). The results of studies on the effects of televised violence are consistent. By watching aggression, children learn how to be aggressive in new ways and they also draw conclusions about whether being aggressive to others will bring them rewards (Huesmann and Eron, 1986).

Children begin to notice and react to television and media influence very early. By the age of three, children will willingly watch a show designed for them 95% of the time and will imitate someone on television as readily as they will imitate a live person. The average time children spend watching television rises from about two and a half hours per day at age twelve. During adolescence, average viewing time drops off to two to three hours a day. Children from the ages 6-11 spend more time watching television than they do in the classroom (Centerwall, 1992). The level of violence that they see on prime time television is about five violent acts per hour and the level of violence on Saturday that includes cartoons morning programming is about 20 to 25 violent acts per hour (Centerwall, 1992). At this rate, the average American child will see 8,000 murders before they finish elementary school! Those children who see TV characters getting what they want by hitting are more likely to strike out themselves in imitation. Even if the TV character has a so-called good reason for acting violently (as when a police officer is shown shooting down a criminal to protect others), this does not make young children less likely to imitate the aggressive act than when there is no good reason for the violence (Huesmann and Eron, 1986).

In a behavioral study carried out in the U.S, children were found to have become significantly more aggressive two years after television was introduced to their town for the first time (Kimball and Zabrack, 1986). Children who prefer violent television shows when they are young have been found to be more aggressive later on, and this may be associated with trouble with the law in adulthood (Huesmann, 1986). Strong identification with a violent TV character and believing that the TV situation is realistic are both associated with greater aggressiveness (Huesmann and Eron, 1986). In general, boys are more affected by violent shows that girls are.

Besides making children more likely to act aggressively, violence on television may have other harmful effects. First, it may lead children to accept more aggressive behavior in others. Second, it may make children more fearful as they come to believe that violence is as common in the real world as it is on television (Huesmann, 1986).

On June 10, 1992, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a definitive study on the effect of television violence. In nations, regions, or cities where television appears there is an immediate explosion of violence on the playground, and within fifteen years there is a doubling of the murder rate. Why fifteen years? That is how long it takes for a brutalized toddler to reach the "prime crime" years. That is how long it takes before you begin to reap what you sow when you traumatize and desensitize children. (Howe, 60). JAMA concluded, "the introduction of television in the 1950s caused a subsequent doubling of the homicide rate, i.e., long-term childhood exposure to television is a causal factor behind approximately one-half of the homicides committed in the United States, or approximately 10,000 homicides annually." The study went on to state, "if, hypothetically, television technology had never been developed, there would today be 10,000 fewer homicides each year in the United States, 70,000 fewer rapes, and 700,000 fewer injurious assaults" (Howe, 1983).

Today the data linking violence in the media to violence in society is superior to that linking cancer and tobacco. The American Psychological Association (APA), the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Surgeon General, and the Attorney General have all concluded there is a problem with media and T.V. violence.

Violence has become more and more prevalent in today's society. We see it in the streets, back alleys, schools, and even at home. Homes, in particular, are a major source of violence. A television set has become common to the living room of most family homes. This outlet for violence often goes unnoticed. Children who view television are often pulled into the realistic, yet a devastating world of violence. 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 (Howe 55). 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. There are numerous advocate groups lobbing for television and media sensor ship. The National Cable Association is one-industry groups studying the trends violent of shows on television (Howe 56). Others are ignoring it and hoping it will go away. As there are numerous groups fighting for media sensor ship, there are also numerous groups fighting against it. The Holly Wood film association is a group that believes that the first amendment of the constitution is being infringed upon and believe there should not be any censor-ship in television (Howe 66). Still others don't even seem to care. However, the facts are undeniable.

Television violence causes children to be violent and the effects can be life-long. A study conducted by Dr. Leonard Eron if the University of Illinois found that children who watched a average of three hours of violent shows daily were more likely to be arrested and prosecuted for criminal acts as adults( Centerwall, 1992). Even if opponents argued that television is not the sole reason for children and violence, it can the breaking point for a child acting out. The effects have been seen in a number of cases. In New York, a sixteen-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 (Howe, 1983). In Alabama, a nine-year-old boy received a bad report card from his teacher. He suggested



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