Recently, media has played a significant role in human life. It is considered as a useful information source to help people to study, research, and relax. Through the media, children could study more positive knowledge which contributes to children’s brainpower. However, it could also bring about negative effects on children. This essay will explain the problems surrounding the influence of violent media on children and will argue that although media violence is likely to assist children to develop cognizance, it also has encouraged aggressive behavior because of too many violent programs on television, imitation by children and ineffective rating systems.
It is thought that too many violent programs on television are one of main causes leading to aggressive behavior in children and adults. Indeed, the technological development has allowed children easily to access violence through playing video games and watching movies on the internet and television (Black and Newman, 1995). In addition, these violent programs are broadcast with the remarkable time, and program producers always present violent films to attract children. For instance, in the USA where after watching television 2-4 hours per day, children will have witnessed over 8000 television murders and 400,000 acts of violence (Lancet, 1994). Moreover, the number of violent programs has increased approximately two times in forty years. In 1961 the violent programs were 50% and in 1967 to 1990 were 70 to 80% of prime time viewing (Lancet, 1994). It is asserted that violent programs have encouraged aggressive behavior in children.
Another cause which is likely to contribute to aggression in children is imitation. Children are young, they cannot distinguish between reality and fantasy. Thus, they could imitate the hero’s actions seen on television and use violence as a way to solve problems such as hitting other children, screaming at them, threatening and destroying toys (Rowell-Huesmann & Moise,1996). In addition, if children spend much time viewing violent films or playing video games during early adolescents, this will be likely to bring about antisocial behavior when they are adults such as threatening aggression, assault or physical fights leading to injury and robbery (Browne & Hamilton-Giachritsis, 2005). Moreover, modern technique has permitted game producers to create lifelike characters. This stimulates the desire of children and makes them want to become the personality in the film. Children cannot control themselves and they enjoy hitting, kicking, pulling clothes or hair after playing violent games (Wagner, 2004). Therefore, if censorship of violence in child’s programs was not used, children’s aggressive behavior would increase.
It is claimed that the ineffective rating system is also one of the causes which contribute to children’s aggressive behavior. With ineffective censorship, violent programs have quickly spread. According to the Lancet’s (1994) statistics the rate of violent programs for children in weekend rose by 36%. This leads to children who will be impacted by negative effects from film’s bad content. As a result of this, children will increase in arousal and decrease pro-social behavior (Rowell-Huesmann & Moise,1996). On the other hand, parents are also responsible for increasing aggressive behavior in children. Most children have a television in their bedroom (Browne & Hamilton-Giachritsis, 2005), therefore, they can watch or play violent games without their parents’ control. Fox example, in England, where the rate of children owed a television has increased quickly, in 1998, 46% children had one in their bedroom but only 43% of parents controlled and prevented their child from watching inappropriate programs (Browne et at, 2005). Hence, censorship of violence in television programs should be adopted effectively and quickly.
In conclusion, media violence has caused aggressive behavior in children. It is necessary that violent programs are controlled to restrict opportunity for children who expose to them. Parents should take care of children more to protect them from negative media and ensure their cognitive development. In addition, governments should be strict about violent programs that target children. If both parents and governments have a cooperation against violent programs, children will not be affected badly by negative effects of media.
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