Television and Media Violence - Effects of TV Violence on Children

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Effects of Television Violence on Children

Television is the mainstream of our culture. Violence on television has been a topic of conflict since before 1950. There have been repeated debates on how to protect children from the harmful effects of violence on television. Television is one form of modern media that influences the everyday lives of people. Televised violence has a major effect on how children perceive the world and how they behave. "American television has become the most violent in the world. It is for this reason why researchers have focused their attention toward television violence" (Cantor & Hoffner 424-4-25). Children enjoy watching television and now with the increased technology of cable and movie
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According to Sr. Elizabeth Thoman, the Executive Director of the Center for Media Literacy in Los Angeles said, the public has produced fear generated by media violence. She calls this the "Mean World Syndrome," in which the impact may not be on potential perpetrators, but on the rest of the population, who begin to believe that violence is inevitable, that crime is everywhere and that they must be afraid. The projection of violence intensifies our views of the real world, making it seem worse than it really is. As the media increasingly reports the gory details of violent acts, the public becomes more immune. It may make the children more fearful as they come to believe that violence is as common in the real world as it is on television and as a direct result children may become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others.

Viewing violence encourages children to see other people as enemies rather as individuals with thoughts and feelings like themselves. Violent scenes less arouses children whom watch a lot of TV than those who only watch a little. They are less bothered by violence in general and less likely to see anything wrong with it. "For example, in several studies, children who watched a violent program instead of a non-violent one were less quick to intervene or to call for
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