Mass Media Controls Youth And The Actions That They Take

2215 words - 9 pages

In our talk we are going to look at the mass media and it's effect on society and if the media influences society's attitude towards violent behavior. In order to fully understand this question we must first understand what violence is and what mass media is. Violence is the use of one's powers to inflict mental or physical injury upon another; examples of this would be rape or murder. And mass media can be defined as a medium, which conveys information to the public through television, movies, magazines, plays and novels.There is probably no greater influence on society than the television. It has become arguably the greatest invention of the past century. With it, we have witnessed ...view middle of the document...

Children model behavior they see in the media. If they don't see the consequences of violence, it will teach them that violence doesn't cause serious harm.In a recent study they found that perpetrators go unpunished in 73% of all violent scenes, one out of four violent interactions involved the use of handguns.Other study's indicated that the average child has witnessed 8,000 murders and 100,000 other acts of violence on television by the time he or she has completed sixth grade. In further studies it was determined that by the time that same child graduates from high school he or she will have spent 22,000 hours watching television, twice as many hours as he or she has spent in school.Children average four hours of television per day, and in the inner city that increases to as much as eleven hours a day, with an average of eight to twelve violent incidents per hour. It is also interesting to note that violence occurs some fifty-five times more often on television than it does in the real world. FBI and census data show the homicide arrest rate for seventeen-year-olds more than doubled between 1985 and 1991, and the rates for fifteen-and sixteen-year-olds increased even faster. Movies also add their fair share to the problem of violence in society. "Researchers have established that copycat events are not an anomaly. Statistically speaking, they are rare, but predictable, occurrences. Television shows, novels, but especially movies-all can trigger copycat violence". As recently as November of 1995, New York City officials believed that the burning of a tollbooth clerk was a result of copycat violence, resulting from a similar scene in the movie Money Train. In 1994, Nathan Martinez shot and killed his stepmother and half sister after watching the movie Natural Born Killers at least six times. "Later, Martinez, who had shaved his head and wore granny sun glasses like Natural Born Killer's main character Mickey Knox, reportedly told a friend, "It's nothing like the movies". In a 1993 film, The Program, there was a scene showing college football players lying in the center of a highway in an attempt to show their courage and dedication to their sport. This movie was later blamed for inspiring real-life imitators; (one of whom died). In numerous experiments based at pre-schools, researchers have observed children playing before and after seeing violent movies and television shows. "Following the violent program the children's play is invariably more aggressive. They are much more likely to hit, punch, kick, and grab to get their way. In other words, violent entertainment teaches children how to use aggression for personal gain"Also, one might see a violent movie and decide to re-enact the scenes thus causing harm to one's self or to others. Hidden meanings of racism and hate are put into music. Teens hear the words of their supposed role models and think it is OK to follow in their footsteps. When reading of such violent acts as the Oklahoma City...

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