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Protecting Children From Television Violence Essay

1298 words - 5 pages

Summary #1
Television violence, and media violence in general, has been a controversial topic for several years. The argument is whether young children are brainwashed into committing violent real-world crimes because of violent and pugnacious behavior exposed in mass media. In his article “No Real Evidence for TV Violence Causing Real Violence”, Jonathan Freedman, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto and author of “Media Violence and Its Effect on Aggression: Assessing the Scientific Evidence”, discusses how television violence, claimed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), does not cause real-world aggression among adolescents. The FCC determined to restrict violent television programming to late night hours only because their “scientific research” proves of increasing aggression among young viewers (Freedman Par. 2). Freedman goes on to explain that the FCC has no substantial scientific evidence stating that there is a correlation between fictional violence and real-world aggression among young audiences. He has completed research in 1984 and 2002 on the relationship between media violence to actual acts of violence on the street. Because he has completed research projects related to this topic, Freedman’s statistical evidence shows that there is a reduction in youth violence and it essentially does not cause real-world crimes (Freedman Par. 1). The FCC continues to claim that exposure to media violence does in fact increase aggression, and yet their readers continue to believe their fabrications. Freedman argues that people who research media violence tend to disregard and omit the opposing facts. No one type of violence is more effective on aggression than another type. There is no evidence showing that people who are more aggressive are affected more than less aggressive people (Freedman Par. 4). Freedman argues that this concept, from the FCC, strictly bases their claim on intuition, not scientific research. Freedman writes, “Ultimately, it is the findings that matter—not what people think about them or tell you about them” (Par. 8). There is not enough evidence to understand and know the effects of media coverage of real violence, and how fictional violence affects real-world scenarios.
Evaluation #1
Television violence is not necessarily the problem with real-world violence in today’s society, nor is “violent” video games, or explicit rap music. United States violence increased between the 1960’s to 1980’s, but has dropped dramatically, especially violent crimes committed by young men, since 1992 (Freedman Par. 10-11). Although media violence is increasing, world violence is decreasing; there has to be a reputable and scientific explanation on why these children are committing violent real-world crimes. There have been less than one-hundred experiments completed on this topic of choice, and possible evidence that observer bias may affect these experiments. The FCC purposely schedule “violent” or...

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