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The Impact Of Media Violence Essay

1296 words - 6 pages

Media Violence and its negative impact has been discussed and debated for many years As children grow into teens they encounter as vast amount of violence in the media, negatively impacting today’s youth. Teenagers who are exposed to media violence will fail to develop effective socialization strategies and resort more readily to violence, which makes society a more dangerous place.
Through social contact, individuals learn to think and act in certain ways, this type of learning is called socialization. One of the most influential agents of socialization is mass media. Children spend an average of four hours in front of a television each day, and with each passing hour, they witness between twenty and twenty-five aggressive acts (Ferrante; Phillips).With all the negative media embedded into their lives, children have no other choice than to absorb it, learning how to think and act based on what they see on television. After viewing over eighty violent acts within those four hours, children are conditioned to be violent. As they grow older, they stop focusing on their education and employment, and instead measure their success with how much trouble they get into. They begin to get into fights, act out in their schools and neighborhoods, and even get involved with other crimes such as theft and vandalism, simply because that is what they have been exposed to all their lives. Psychologist, Leonard Eron supports this, believing that ten percent of violent crimes in the United States are caused by exposure to media violence (Easterbrook). In fact, in 1960 Eron conducted an experiment tracking video violence and actual violence for almost four decades. He confirmed that even occasional violence showed in television shows causes increased aggression among eight-year-olds, and that by adult years, those who watched more television during childhood were more likely to have been arrested or convicted of violence felonies (Easterbrook). As Eron has proven, not only does media violence impact just the individual, but that individual does things that are frowned upon throughout society. They cause disruptions in neighborhoods and put the lives of their neighbors in danger by getting involved with a life of crime. Everything these individuals learned was by observing it on the television, this is known as the imitation effect (Phillips). What they observed was violence, so they learned to be violent.
The way people behave and problem solve is also impacted from exposure to violence in the media. Jeffery Johnson, of Columbia University, conducted an experiment in which he observed over seventy families within seventeen years, focusing on their viewing habits and various behavioral tendencies, finding that the amount of televisions watched during childhood increased the likelihood of behaving aggressively (Phillips). This experiment is one of many showing that media violence directly impacts behaviour, and has people resorting more readily to violence. Not...

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