“While the causes of youth violence are multifactorial and include such variables as poverty, family psychopathology, child abuse, exposure to domestic violence and community violence, substance abuse and other psychiatric disorders, the research literature is quite compelling that children’s exposure to media violence plays and important role in etiology of violent behavior” (Beresin).
One cause of violent behavior is aggressive behavior. Aggressive behavior is to have threatening behavior or actions. You can find aggressive behavior through all media and nearly on every channel on TV. Young children will imitate aggressive acts in the media with their peers. Repeated exposure to aggression in the media poses a risk for children. “Experiments have shown that exposure to media violence can increase aggressive thinking, aggressive emotions, and tolerance for aggression, all known risk factors for later aggressive and violent behavior” (Wilson). In movies and television shows, the hero battles the villain because of a motive that led to an aggressive act and a violent resolution. Children learn from what their role models do and say. Ultimately, violence in movies and television shows conveys an improper model of conflict resolution. Children try to use violence as a resolution to their conflicts.
Society has come a long way with technology from one television set in household to having up to one in almost every bedroom today. This gives youth the ability to watch television with no parental supervision. Youth seem to show interest in action/adventure and crime/drama on television shows. “Television programs display 812 violent acts per hour; children’s programming, particularly cartoons, displays up to 20 violent acts hourly” (Beresin). “By age 18 an American child will have seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence” (Hatch). The violent acts seen on television and other media catch the attention of viewers. People of America live for the entertainment, the adrenaline, and the excitement. Viewing simulated violence influences one to act or imitate what they see. Often this occurs in video games.
Video games are seen as most influential to juvenile crimes. They have become very sophisticated and realistic. Though all video games are not bad and actually are educational, some games take violence to an extreme level. Many of the popular games emphasize negative themes and promote the killing of the people or animals, the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol, criminal behavior, disrespect for authority and the law, sexual exploitation and violence toward women, racial, sexual, and gender stereotypes and foul language, obscenities and obscene gestures (Collins). Youth