There’s an ancient chinese proverb that states “A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which everyone who passes by leaves an impression” (Great-Quotes.com.) People blindly believe that children are easily influenced by violent cartoons on television. From generation to generation parents are always warned not to allow their kids to watch too much violent cartoons. What kids watch- and not just how much- matters when it comes to television viewing (Rochman.) But just how true is that? Research on the negative influences of cartoons on children is inconclusive and complex.
The American Psychological Association believe television violence affects young children negatively after doing many case studies. They believe children can learn aggressive attitudes and behaviors. Children can become desensitized to real world violent behavior. Young kids can develop a fear of being victimized by violence. The American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Adolescent Psychiatry believe that television does influence the behavior of children from as young as one years old (Kalin.) These are all seemingly reliable resources to encourage that belief violent cartoons does affect young children.
But just how much does it affect them? If they affect children at all? Separating other factors that can influence violent behavior is almost impossible. Can you really separate media violence from all the other factors that can influence violent behaviors? (Rochman.) Real life has more of an effect than fantasy violence (Cutler.) For instance, children who have a parent who went to jail are more likely to go to the jail than children who watch the violent animated cartoon Happy Tree Friends.If a child has have abusive parents or siblings, there’s a bigger chance the child will become violent. Singling out home and environmental factors is hard in a case study. You can’t just take a child and place one in a room with a coloring book and the other to watch Dragonball Z to test if they become violent or not (Kalin.)
Professor L. Rowell Huessman, author of over many studies on media violence and aggressive behaviors in children, believes there is evidence that exposure to media violence can lead to aggressive behaviour and ideas in viewers. Meanwhile, Dr. Michael Grose, australian parenting expert and psychiatrist, believes being affected by the cartoons depends on the child. “It prepares them. It actually personifies the unknown to them.” Dr. Grose believes presenting conflict, drama, and pain that’s impersonal will help them understand and confront it. On the other hand, Professor Jonathan Freedman, Department of Psychology in Toronto University, doesn’t believe violent cartoons produces violent children or desensitizes them to violence. In support his research he states that Japanese cartoons are much more violent than american cartoons and the Japanese are generally polite and non-aggressive.
Violence or aggressive acts are treated differently in cartoons....