The Effects of Television on Children

Essay by J-HAWKCollege, UndergraduateA, November 2009

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A young boy sets his bed on fire, imitating Beavis & Butthead, a popular, animated, nationwide TV show. A six year old girl is bombarded with news of murders, riots, wars, and natural disaster, frightening her to the point of hopelessness about the world around her. A brand new baseball glove and bat sit untouched for months because two brothers have grown accustomed to spending every free moment in front of their television set. In America, the average child "watches 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of violence before finishing elementary school" (Clark 265-288).

Television today is plagued by strong violence, graphic sexual content, and confusing and frightening views of the world that are often too complex for young children to interpret. This ultimately causes a desensitization and aggravated behavior towards sex and violence (Clark 265-288). While the television industry is winning the battle of keeping its child audience tuned in for hour upon hour, it's leaving in its wake a new generation of passive, unimaginative children who have not learned to take initiative and actually engage in constructive activities.

The birth of television was in the year 1926. It was successfully demonstrated in England by J.K. Baird but televisions "were not common household items in the United States until the 1950's" (Television). No one at that time could have imagined that in the years to come, the number of TV owners would literally sky rocket. Today, those numbers have reached outstanding proportions. The amounts of homes in America that now have televisions surpass 90%. The shear presence of televisions can be to blame for its increasing ominous effects on children. Television has become literally unavoidable. Its' inventors would be proud to know how their invention has crept its way into every crevice of our lives today, but I wonder, if...