The children of today are surrounded by technology and entertainment that is full of violence. It is estimated that the average child watches from three to five hours of television a day! (Neilson 1993). Listening to music is
also a time consuming pastime among children. With all of that exposure, one might pose the question, "How can seeing so much violence on television and video games and hearing about violence in in music affect a child's behavior?"
Obviously these media have a big influence on childrens' behavior: we can see it in the way they attempt to emulate their favorite rock stars by dressing in a similar style and the way children play games, imitating their favorite cartoon personalities or super heroes. Studies have shown that extensive television viewing may be associated with, aggressive behavior, poor academic performance, precocious sexuality, obesity, and the use of drugs or alcohol (Deitz). Television, video games, and music are very influential and if there is too much violence available for children to watch, play, or listen to, this can sway their attitudes in a negative direction.
Television is especially influencial on the children today. The hard truth is that children spend an average of 28 hours a week in front of the television (Neilson 1993). This is almost two times the amount of time that some children are in school. At this very impressionable age it is no wonder that the images that kids see sometimes has a profound impact on their behavior.
Fifty-five percent of children watch television with a friend or alone. (TV-Free America). Too often parents assume that their children are responsible enough to choose suitable programming. But the sad fact is that even some shows deemed as "children's television" are violent. A survey in Mediascope showed that a staggering sixty-six percent of children's programming contained violence. Many
times the violence occured in cartoons which were the least likely to show the long term consequences of violence and in many cases portrayed the violence in a humorous way (Mediascope 2/96). Studies done in various countries across the world show the homicide rates doubling 10 to 15 years after the introduction of television even though the study was taken at different times in each country(Centerwall). Another study showed that eight year old boys who watched the most violent programming were the most likely to get into fights or problems with the police (Eron). If parents knew what their children were...