Effects Of Television On Children: A Chain Indicating Their Behavior

1101 words - 4 pages

Kate Moody, author of Growing Up On Television: The TV Effect, explains that a nine-year-old’s effort to slip his teacher a box of poisoned chocolates, a seven-year-old’s use of ground glass in the family stew, a seventeen-year-old’s re-enactment of a televised rape and murder by bludgeoning the victim’s head and slashing her throat, and a fifteen-year-old’s real-life rerun of a rape with a broomstick televised in the movie Born Innocent are all examples of crimes copied from TV (86). Many children are introduced to the world of television before they enter school and grow up committing crimes because they were under the influence of television. In Mary L. Gavin’s article, “How TV Affects Your Child,” found on KidsHealth.org, which is the most visited website for information about health, behavior, and development from before birth through the teen years, Mary reported that two-thirds of infants and toddlers watch television an average of two hours a day, kids under the age of six watch an average of about two hours of television a day, and children between the ages of eight and eighteen years old spend nearly four hours a day in front of a television screen (Gavin). The article found on the Media Awareness Network website, “Television’s Impact on Kids,” reports that television is one of the most prevalent media influences in kids’ lives (Media Awareness Network). Lately, reality shows like Bad Girls’ Club and Jersey Shore are being aired because they are full of drama that catches the viewers’ attention. Children are more receptive of what they see on TV than adults are and are more likely to mimic those actions. The negative influence of television causes children to absorb and retaliate what they see on TV, which in part causes these same children to believe behaving badly is appropriate, which in part causes them to become more violent, use drugs or drink alcohol, and become sexually active.
Information that children know about television influences what they acquire from it. “TV gives children an unreal perception of the world of material goods. Like the lesson of violence, the lifestyle of consumption is not “taught” by television. It is simply picked up and absorbed by the viewer” (Moody 50). Moreover, TV is full of programs and commercials that depict risky behaviors such as sex and substance abuse as cool, fun, and exciting (Gavin). Jersey Shore and Bad Girls’ Club both display negative images such as excessive drinking, provocative language, clubbing, brutal violence, and sexual escapades. Although these particular shows are not intended for a younger audience, children find themselves watching and comprehending the behaviors shown to them. In the book, Television and Children: Program Evaluation, Comprehension, and Impact, authors Brian R. Clifford, Barrie Gunter, and Jill McAleer state that children attempt to integrate new experiences into their existing framework of knowledge in order to make sense of them (38).
Once children...

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