Television Violence and Its Effects on Children
Often thought of as one of the most fascinating inventions of the Twentieth Century, television has undoubtedly become a major part of our lives, providing us with entertainment and information. However, much of what is on the television today involves violence. Why? Because viewers want to see action and excitement, which usually involves something being blown up, or someone being shot. The only problem is that many of these viewers are children. They watch so much violent television throughout their lives, one must wonder if it has any effect on them at all. After reviewing all the evidence, it is obvious that violent television viewing does affect children in a negative way.
By the time a child becomes an adult, he has witnessed over 144,000 acts of violence on a television screen (APA, 1997). These acts of violence are absorbed by a child's mind, and the child learns about violent acts, and how to commit them, through television.
But does this mean that just because a child watches violence on TV, they will commit these acts of violence in real life? There is evidence to prove that yes, children do imitate what they see on television. By the age of three, children often imitate characters they see on television (Ledingham, 1993). Oftentimes, what a child is watching on television involves an act of violence, and therefore a child, at some point or
another, will commit an act of violence in real life, due to what he learned from TV (Ledingham, 1993). When a child watches violent actions that are either rewarded or not punished on television, the probability of imitating the behavior increases (Ledingham, 1993).
As a child ages, they become more mature and begin to understand that what is on television is...