nagersEffects of Television Violence on Children and Teenagers
Does violence on television have a negative effect on children and teenagers? The violence shown on television has a surprisingly negative effect. Television violence causes children and teenagers to become less caring, to lose their inhibitions, to become less sensitive, and also may cause violent and aggressive behavior.
Television violence causes children and teenagers to be less caring, to lose their inhibitions, and to be less sensitive. In a study on the connection between violence and television done with 1,565 teenage boys over a six-year period in London, William Belson, a British psychologist, found that every time a child saw someone being shot or killed on television they became less caring towards other people (Kinnear 26). William Belson also discovered that every time a child viewed this violence on television, they lost a fragment of their inhibitions towards others (Kinnear 26). In addition to William Belson’s study, studies done by many scientists and doctors show that seeing violence on television causes viewers to become less sensitive to the pain of others (Mudore 1).
Furthermore, television violence causes aggressive behavior in children. Many people believe that children who watch violent television programs exhibit more aggressive behavior than that exhibited by children who do not (Kinnear 23). According to the results of many studies and reports, violence on television can lead to aggressive behavior in children (Langone 50). Also, when television was introduced into a community of children for the first time, researchers observed a rise in the level of physical and verbal aggression among these children (Langone 51). The more television violence viewed by a child, the more aggressive the child is (“Children” 1).
Television violence is also a cause of both violent and aggressive behavior in teenage boys. According to the evidence in a study done by Turner, Hesse, and Peterson-Lewis, it was concluded that watching television violence had a long-term increase in aggression in boys (Hough 1). In addition to this study, Dr. William A. Belson evaluated fifteen hundred boys, aged thirteen to sixteen years, and he determined that boys with heavy television exposure are more likely to commit violent acts than other boys (Langone 51). In Belson’s study, he discovered that the effect of each violent act on television was collective, and over time, Belson discovered that the boys engaged in many aggressive acts, including painting graffiti, breaking windows, aggressive play, swearing, and threatening other boys with violence (Kinnear 26).
Furthermore, violence shown on television may cause violent behavior in both children and teenagers. The Federal Government concluded that high levels of television violence could lead to violent behavior in children (Kinnear 24). Surgeon General C. Scott Everett Koop reported that exposure to violence on television is a factor in childhood violence (Langone 49). Also, George Comstock, a leading authority on the effects of violence in television and film, found in studies he reviewed, that watching television violence increased the level of violent behavior in children (Kinnear 27).
Television violence causes children and teenagers to become less caring, to lose their inhibitions, to become less sensitive, and also may cause violent and aggressive behavior. Television violence has been around for a very long time and this violence that is shown on television must be stopped. Parents should take action in their communities to bring about the lessening of television violence by writing a letter to their cable company, starting a petition, and by limiting the television programs their children view.
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Hough, Kirstin J, and Philip G.Erwin. “Children’s attitudes toward violence on television.” The
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Kinnear, Karen L. Violent Children. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1995.
Langone, John. Violence!: Our fastest growing health problem. Boston: Little, Brown, 1984.
Mudore, Constance Faye. “Does TV Violence Kill?” Current Health 2 Feb. 2000. 3 Nov. 2001