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The Impact That Violence On Television Has On Children

1431 words - 6 pages

The Impact Violence That Television Has on Children Violence on television has a negative effect on the well being of children. These little lives are impacted in several significant ways. Children cannot distinguish between television and "the real world" and this makes them more susceptible to the violence they see on television. Defined in the Webster's dictionary as physical force employed so as to violate, damage or abuse, violence comes in many forms and can be viewed in many television programs which children often watch unsupervised. Children spend many hours watching violence on television and because of this, their behaviors tend to reflect what they watch. In many families children are left alone between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m. to tend to themselves until their parents return from work. Television becomes the mother, father, baby sitter and teacher all in one. It is estimated that children spend 22 to 28 hours per week watching television (Hoffmann). This is a sad fact because, apart from sleeping, this is the greatest amount of time spent on any one activity in a child's life. With so many unsupervised hours being spent before these glowing boxes, children are prone to come face to face with various types of violence such as random destruction of property, aggravated assaults, rapes and murders. Studies conducted by Dr. George Gerbner at the University of Pennsylvania have shown that children's television shows contain about 20 violent acts each hour and that children who watch a lot of television are more likely to think that the world is a mean and dangerous place (American Psychological Association Online). I believe in the precept that for every action there is a reaction and that when children watch violence on television their natural instinct when confronted with situations like those viewed would be to react according to what they have observed. People learn by imitating what they see and children are particularly receptive to the teachings of television. Given children's special vulnerability to situations around them considerable attention has to be focused on the effects of television violence on children. Violence viewed on television has a long lasting effect on children's behavior. According to Dr. Barry Zuckerman, a pediatrician and professor of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Boston City Hospital/Boston University, children who view violence are more likely to be developmentally damaged (Zuckerman 64). This I believe speaks to their ability to view violent acts and differentiate between what can harm them and what cannot. Further noted is that, children often internalize trauma. They cannot articulate these acts but it can be seen in their drawings and in their play. Children who view violent acts often have nightmares or sometimes show signs of traumatic stress disorder which results from too much exposure to violent television shows (Zuckerman 64), and often become highly agitated or...

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