Linking Media Violence And Negative Behavior

2393 words - 10 pages

     Many Americans feel that the viewing of violence in the media reinforces negative behavior in society, especially among children and young adults. "Three thousand studies have been done since 1955 on the link between television and violence; 2,980 of them found a correlation between the two.  We hear little about that because we get most of our news from television" (Peterson).  With this much research one must acknowledge that there is a problem in America involving sex and violence in the media.  We cannot blame all societal problems on the media and its portrayal of these issues, but we can become educated, ourselves, in order to better facilitate the healthy lives of our children.

"We, as a society, did this to ourselves," said psychologist Dr. David Walsh, executive director of clinics and systems operations for Fairview Behavioral Services in Minneapolis. "Violence grabs the headlines, but violence itself is a result of a society that promotes selfishness, greed and instant gratification" (Peterson).  Violence on public television often catches us in a serious debate.  Concerned parents fear that viewing inappropriate images presented by the media will corrupt America's youth.  They cringe at the idea of our nation's children growing up to be vicious killers due to the brutal violence often seen on TV.  Some blame television for most, if not all, of the ills of society and its children.  "Truly it accounts for about 10 percent of violence, which means that 90 percent is caused by other things," Leonard Eron says.  "Violence is a multi-determined behavior. It's caused by genetic, biological, physiological, macroeconomic and macrosocial factors, all of which can account for some part of the variance."  Understanding the source of individual violent attacks helps us to isolate the cause, as well as to learn from others mistakes.


While flipping through various channels, one can see a multitude of programs ranging from history, to cartoons, to the news shows, and even the occasional childbirth.  "In just one hour, children can see five to six violent acts on prime time television, and 20 to 25 violent acts during each hour of Saturday morning children's programs" (Blumenthal).  With some cable services providing hundreds of channels, one may be able to catch even more of the previously mentioned incidents in a matter of seconds simply by channel surfing. 


"Children born today will witness 200,000 acts of violence on television by the time they are 18" (Peterson). One must realize that eliminating all violence from the screen would mean that most programs including history, nature, and many educational shows would have to be canceled as well.  Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, in his press release, "Tune out the Violence," cites the National Institute of Mental Health, a government agency who found that "80.3 percent of all television programs contain acts of violence.  The typical program includes 5.21...

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