a box of violence
In many peoples' living rooms there sits an outlet for violence that often goes unnoticed. As you scan through the pages there are violent images of fighting, stabbing's, drive by shootings and the list goes on. This violent box 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 and youth 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. Television violence causes children to be violent and the effects can be life-long.
How does a T.V. box become an influence nightmare for children and you?.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 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 that 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 non-thinker (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 than the violence that is normally viewed on the streets.
The television violence can cause actual violence in a number of ways. As explained above, after viewing television violence theworld 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 the behavior of models such as those portrayed in television, movies, etc. They do so because the ideas that are shown to them on television are more attractive to the viewer than those the viewer can think up himself" (Brown 98). This has been widely seen lately with the advent of the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. Young children cannot seem to get enough, wrestling, Power Rangers, Ninja Turtles, of these fictional characters and will portray them