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Media Kids Essay

1382 words - 6 pages

It has been said that children are like sponges when it comes to attaining knowledge. This is true whether they are learning to speak or how to show emotion. The violence and risky behaviors as depicted on TV can have a profound effect on a young developing mind. It is well known that the first two years of life is when the brain undergoes critical development phases. During this time it is important that kids develop an accurate perception of the world they are growing up in. Over consumption of media (in general) presents a false reality that rewards for violent behavior, hinders mental and physical development, and promotes risky behavior. In response to this the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recommended that “kids under the age of two not watch any TV and that those older than two watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of quality programming” (Kidshealth.org).
There is no question that television in moderation can be a good thing: young children are exposed to great educational tools such as Dora the Explorer, Word World, (my personal favorite) and Bubble Guppies. These are just a few amongst many quality programs that teach young kids essentials like the alphabet, numbers, shapes, and colors. These programs are also excellent educators for other life skills as well, such as teaching the value of friendship and the importance of helping one another overcome perceived challenges. However, too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Kids that spend too much time in front of the TV, educational or not, develop detrimental routine patterns that can last a lifetime. These patterns can lead to apathy, aggression (due to witnessing violent acts), racial, sexual and gender stereotyping, and risky behaviors later in life.
There is unquestionably a correlation between witnessing violence whether it is real or perceived and the development of aggression amongst children. In a study done by L. Rowell Huesmann, (Psychology Professor at the University of Michigan) a longitudinal experiment was performed to see if violence in media had a lasting effect in children through their teenage years. The experiment involved two separate sessions, one began in 1977 and the other in 1992, fifteen years later when the children became adults. In the first session the children were asked to choose their favorite programs from eight lists with ten programs on each list. Each list included violent programs and non-violent programs. Then the children were asked of the shows chosen how often they had watched them using different amounts including; “every time it’s on”, “a lot, but not always,” or once in a while”. The violence level in this experiment was rated 1-5,”5” being very violent. In the follow up experiment done in 1992 the test subjects were brought back in (of which 329 could be found) and asked the same questions about which shows they prefer and how often they watched violent programs using the same 1-5 scale. The researchers then spoke with...

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