Children and Violence: An American Media Controversy Essay

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Children and Violence: An American Media Controversy

As censorship of the American media has broken down over the years, the amount of violence allowed to be shown in movies, on television, and in video games has skyrocketed. From coast to coast in our nation, this saturation of hostility in our media has caused many contentious debates between scholars, parents, students and government officials alike. In this controversy, the central argument revolves around the effects violent media has on our society. The question that most researchers strive to answer is this: does watching or participating in violent media cause violent or other harmful behaviors? There are those who would say yes, it does promote destructive behavior in
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So then the question becomes, why and how do these adverse effects occur? My argument is quite simple—children and adolescents are an age group that can be easily influenced because they are progressing through an early stage of development in their lives. It is a time in their existence where their views, opinions, and ideas of the world surrounding them are being formed. Therefore, when impressionable young people view media drenched in violence, their minds begin to be badly affected by the actions, behaviors and attitudes they witness.

An important researcher and supporter of my claim is the American Psychiatric Association. An astounding statistic that is worth repeating is this: the typical American child watches 28 hours of television a week, and by the age of 18 will have seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence (“Psychiatric” 1). The APA also states that they fully support the studies done by the National Institute of Mental Health, who have reported that "In magnitude, exposure to television violence is as strongly correlated with aggressive behavior as any other behavioral variable that has been measured" (1). Additionally, consider these significant statistics: 50% percent of murder victims are between 15 and 34 years old; 55% of those arrested for murder are under 25 years old; one third of all the violent crimes in the U.S. are committed by individuals under 21 years old (1).

Another significant
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