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The Harmful Effect Of Television On Children And Teen Agers

1692 words - 7 pages

The entertainment that television is now portraying is not exactly what the younger society of America needs to be exposed to, but unfortunately in today's economy that is the only kind of entertainment that sells. There is so much unnecessary exposure to violence, aggressive behavior, and sexual acts now being broadcasted daily on television, movies, music, and even the news. The broadcasting systems are now targeting younger children and teens. The crime rates have skyrocketed due to delinquent juvenile behavior over the past ten years. The whole viewing society is now becoming very tolerant and at ease with sex and violence. Youth and children are picking up on these behaviors daily. ...view middle of the document...

They showed that "the homicide rate among whites, who were the first to buy the sets, began to rise, while the black homicide rate didn't show any such increase until four years later."(Kristol) Children watch and enjoy the violence they see. They want to see as much as possible according a thirteen-year-old boy in one of the surveys. These surveys give proof that violent behavior is learned from television and movies, and improved with time and exposure to extreme amounts of violence.

Then, the American public seem to cling to reality shows like "Desperate Housewives", "World's Scariest Police Chases", "CSI: Crime Scene Investigators", and "NYPD Blue" that display an over-exposure to murder, rape, violence, and suicide scenes. The first TV show mentioned actually advertises sex with minors, adultery, robbery, and murder. The other three television shows deal with police activities, but they have extreme amounts of violence and the actual steps to committing the crimes. Violent movies, television shows, and even video games essentially train teens and children how to have sex and kill and to be successful at it.

As if the television shows and movies are not bad enough, people then watch the news on a daily basis. America watches the news to have up-to-date information about the world around us. It does a great job informing the public, but may go a little to far. The news shows car bombings, war photos, and police chases all with people being hurt or killed. Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, U.S. Army (Ret.) is an internationally recognized scholar, a Professor of Military Science, and a West Point psychology professor. He states that "The television industry has blood on their hands and they know it. They will not even discuss the topic. If we reach down into that great big stew of factors that are now causing murder, we know that the single biggest chunk is television, even news programs advocating gun control."(Grossman, Cagney) The news is showing the same types of violence the society is watching in the movies and on television shows. With a little more censorship, the news would be more effective because it would be informing on the right topics and not promoting the violence.

With violence and sex being overly exposed in news and television shows, we think allowing cartoons to suffice for a temporary babysitter will be safer. Yet, we are wrong again. In a child's life, cartoons are the highlight of every morning, especially Saturday mornings. Most children that watch a "Superhero" or their favorite cartoon character engaging in an activity, even if it is wrong, want to do it too. Barbara Wilson is a senior researcher of children stating "The average preschooler who watches mostly cartoons is exposed to over five hundred high-risk portrayals of violence each year." (Schroeder 74-75) Violence in cartoons is glamorized and attractive to younger children who are unable to distinguish the difference. The results...

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