The Dangers of Overexposing Children to Violence from Mass Media
Media is defined as being a channel of communication. We gain knowledge of media from a variety of sources such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the internet. This is considered mass media because it communicates with a large amount of people. Mass media affects people of any religion, any race, any sex, any age, and of any culture, but the most influence that media has on something is on the minds of children. Mass media can be very persuasive to the minds of children and can lead to many different kinds of behavior. Addressed in this paper is how mass media influences the minds of children and some of the negative effects it has created.
We as a society need to be aware of the kinds of things that mass media displays to children that can have a negative impact on their life. Mass media creates a variety of ideas that influence how children view everyday life. At a very young age we are subjected to images on the television and words on the radio telling us and showing us what goes on in the world. As a child our minds are not fully developed and we need to be taught by someone how to do things. Parents need to monitor what their children are watching and doing and make sure it’s appropriate for their age.
Here are some statistics that were quite interesting to find out: * “An average American child spends around 28 hours in front of the television in a week and could have watched around more than 150,000 violent scenes before he becomes a teenager. These acts of violence can be serious offenses like rapes, burglaries and even murders * Programs shown on television, according to a study, display more than 800 acts of violence every hour. According to a study, violence is depicted in a fun or humorous way which is very dangerous as it can lead to indifference towards violence in children * And it's not just cartoons or programs. It has been observed that more than 10% of music videos contain violence which can affect a person psychologically” (S)
Acts of violence are becoming more and more common in children these days. We hear about it on the news and in the newspapers. There seems to always be some form of violence going on between children, the question is, “Is it ever going to end?” , probably not, but we can take certain actions that may decrease violence in children which in turn will decrease violence in the future. On television, violent programs are influential to young children making them believe what they see is real. On television and in the movies someone can be shot or beat up and walk away unscathed. Children don’t know any better, if a child watches the TV and sees a bad guy get shot a dozen times and walk away as if nothing happened to them, why wouldn’t a child think they could do the same in real life. Too much exposure to violence can create aggressive behavior, inappropriate language use, even the committing of malicious acts. Mass media does not make a child watch violent programs or tell them to go out and commit crimes, but having exposure to all this violence can lead to negative behavior and misconceptions of reality. Little kids mimic what they see on television unknowing of the true consequences of their actions. Children need to be educated on what fact is and what is fictional.
In 1961, Albert Bandura, a “Canadian-born American psychologist and originator of the Social Cognitive Theory ”, [ (Nolan) ] conducted an experiment called “The Bobo Doll” experiment. The experiment “tested 36 boys and 36 girls from the Stanford University Nursery School aged between 3 to 6 years old. The role models were one male adult and one female adult. Under controlled conditions, Bandura arranged for 24 boys and girls to watch a male or female model behaving aggressively towards a toy called a 'Bobo doll'. The adults attacked the Bobo doll in a distinctive manner -