Does Watching Television Cause Children to be Violent?
In today society the television play’s a prominent role in the majority of all houses in the U.S. In fact, more than half of the homes in America have over three or more TVs.(…) Numerous studies have been conducted about whether or not television influences children to be violent and once all the studies have been completed, they have proven the same thing- violence on TV does impact children. The purpose of this research essay is to shed some light on: how much television a child watches, how much violence is in most TV shows, what the government is doing about restricting this type of exposure, as well as several other important topics for discussion.
The role that television plays in civilization today cannot be stressed enough. The TV has become a central source of entertainment in most homes, as well as a source of information from around the world. Therefore, naturally people will spend a great deal of time in front of it, watching shows of their preference. When it comes to children, they are no different than the rest of a televisions audience. There are is a finite amount of shows, programs, and cartoons that are geared specifically towards younger children of all ages. Whatever age a child begins watching shows, that child becomes subject to all kinds of themes that parents may not be aware of. For example violence is the most frequent story topic of most television programs on the air today. According to a research article at Gonzaga.edu, “over half (55%) of the stories about youth referenced violence, and more than two thirds (68%) about violence concerned youth” (Rawlings). These numbers show that although children are more than likely to watch children shows, even those types of shows display violence in some of its many forms. So exactly how much television violence is a child subjected to when watching television? Well first it’s important to understand how much an average child in America watches TV. According to the article “Television and Health” at the website CSUN.EDU, “The average child watches television: 1,680 minutes per week” (Herr). This number adds up to 28 hours a week of sitting in front of a television and as a child sits there for 28 hours every week for 52 weeks a year, eventually that number grows into 1,456 hours a year. Almost 1,500 hours of watching television can lead to a lot of different things watched over those 12 months. However, when it comes to witnessing acts of violence on TV, according to the same article, during the course of one year, “The number of murders seen on TV by the time an average child finishes elementary school is 8,000”, and by the time that child turns 18, “The number of violent acts seen on TV is 200,000, including 40,000 murders” (Herr). These statistics do an excellent job of putting the reality of what a child actually sees into a tangible perspective. Not only do these stats provide an idea of how many hours a child can be left in front of a TV, it also provides an idea of how much time a child is not actively doing other things. This information can be crucial when discovering the root cause in disobedience and academic failings. In an attempt to eliminate children from being exposed to: sexual content, graphic violence, and strong profanity in television programs; the government established The Parental Guidelines system on January 1, 1997. Although the concept of restricting what children watch seems like a sound argument, it is completely flawed when it is left up to the discretion of parents. This is due to the reality that not all parents are the same and not all of them utilize the TV Rating system is that has been established by Congress. Although most TVs, cables networks, and viewing programs provide accessibility to a parental restricting system that works hand in hand with The Parental Guidelines system, not everyone uses that either. So in short, if parents are given the...
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