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Tv Violence Essay

1029 words - 5 pages

Television, which was nonexistent just a few decades ago, has become an integral part of our daily lives. There are thousands of shows to choose from, varying from soap operas to cooking shows to science fiction. These can all be easily accessed with just the click of a button. If what you want to watch is not on, you can access just about every show there has been through the Internet. This is convenient in our growing need for constant entertainment. However, this ease of access presents problems. The ability to watch any show at any time applies to children as well. Because of this it has become increasingly difficult to monitor what children watch. The result is the increased exposure of ...view middle of the document...

The same goes for violence. If children are repeatedly watching violent behaviors, they will try to imitate them. A study done in Canada shows the dramatic effects of this. In three different towns children with low aggression levels were exposed to TV that contained a higher amount of violence than usual. The level of aggression displayed by the children rose significantly. Not only were the children directly affected, the adults in the household began to act more violently as well.
Violence is not just an element of adult shows, many kid shows incorporate violent behaviors. Many cartoons include what would actually be considered extremely graphic and disturbing in real life. People or animals are depicted as being chopped up, blown up, falling off cliffs, and even being shot repeatedly. These are considered humorous behaviors, and the result is a bundle of laughter. Essentially, children are being taught to laugh at violent acts. There are even show that contain real people being injured falling down stairs and slipping off roofs that are intended to be funny. This leads to an association of injury with humor. Even non-humorous violence, such as real stories of criminals and shootings on the news, are constantly being shown to children. Overall it leads to children being desensitized to violence. This means that the natural reaction that humans have to violence, which should naturally be fear or discomfort as part of our fight-or-flight response, is erased. Violence no longer provokes any negative reactions.
An argument some make is that some shows that depict violence, like detective and superhero shows, can teach good behaviors. In these shows the villains are always defeated, whereas the good guy always wins. This shows children that bad behavior evokes punishment. It also shows that if you behave like the heroes, you will always win. But consider the way the hero gains his victory. It often is brought about by a big show-down with the villain, in which the “hero” must beat the bad guy to a pulp in order to win....

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