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The American Media's Impact On Our Youth

1752 words - 7 pages

Media is everywhere in modern society. Internet, television, radio, video games, newspapers, music videos, and movies are all considered media, and teenagers spend a lot of their time with it. While there are shows, ads, and movies with good morals and ideas, many convince the youth of today’s culture to do iniquitous actions. Hundreds of studies have proven the link between media and violence and increased sexuality. American media is giving youth subliminal messages and causing them to perform violent actions and forcing them to take drastic measures to stay with society’s idea of perfection.
Teenagers spend at least 6.5 hours a day with media. Teen Research Unlimited, a company that creates records on how teenagers act and spend their time, found that teenagers spend about 11.2 hours per week watching TV, and at least 10 hours per week listening to FM radio (Meenkashi Durham 30). There us at least one television in 99% of American homes. Three quarters of children ages 8 to 18 have a television in their bedroom (“Youth Violence: A Report of the Surgeon General” 7). By age 17, an average youth will have seen over 250,000 commercials (“Media Influence on Youth”).
The media that is surrounding today’s teenagers contains a considerable amount of violence. By age 18, a youth will have seen over 200,000 violent acts, 16,000 of them being murders. Unfortunately, young adults are most likely to act out in violence because of violence in media, and TV is a major source of this violence. (Craig Anderson et al 87). Every hour, there are 812 violent acts on TV (Eugene Beresin). Many people believe that the violence that shown in media causes America’s youth to act out in similar violence. In fact, over 1,000 studies confirm the link of media violence and the violence shown by adolescents (“Influence”).
With teenagers watching so much television, media wants to appeal them. Unfortunately, directors and persons in charge of different media believe that the only way to get their attention is with violence. Some form of violence is used in 61% of television programs. Saturday morning cartoons, with about 25 violent acts an hour, contain much more violence than Primetime, which has only about 10 violent acts per hour (“Influence”). A favorite channel of adolescents is MTV, and they watch it for an average of 6 hours per week (Durham 31). A show that was frequently on MTV was Beavis and Butthead. The show was blamed for much violence. One instance included a five-year-old setting fire to his trailer, killing his two-year-old sister (John Katz 89). Not only does television show violence, shows also associate humor with aggression 43% of the time, as if it were acceptable (“Surgeon General”).
Violence is not only on television, but it also seeps into movies. In movies, the hero almost always uses violence to solve the major conflict. Children and young adults see this way of solving their problems, and may reenact it if they had...

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