The Impact that Violence on Television has on Children

Essay by momo83University, Bachelor'sA-, March 2004

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The Impact Violence That Television Has on Children

Violence on television has a negative effect on the well being of children. These little lives are impacted in several significant ways. Children cannot distinguish between television and "the real world" and this makes them more susceptible to the violence they see on television. Defined in the Webster's dictionary as physical force employed so as to violate, damage or abuse, violence comes in many forms and can be viewed in many television programs which children often watch unsupervised.

Children spend many hours watching violence on television and because of this, their behaviors tend to reflect what they watch. In many families children are left alone between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m. to tend to themselves until their parents return from work. Television becomes the mother, father, baby sitter and teacher all in one. It is estimated that children spend 22 to 28 hours per week watching television (Hoffmann).

This is a sad fact because, apart from sleeping, this is the greatest amount of time spent on any one activity in a child's life. With so many unsupervised hours being spent before these glowing boxes, children are prone to come face to face with various types of violence such as random destruction of property, aggravated assaults, rapes and murders. Studies conducted by Dr. George Gerbner at the University of Pennsylvania have shown that children's television shows contain about 20 violent acts each hour and that children who watch a lot of television are more likely to think that the world is a mean and dangerous place (American Psychological Association Online). I believe in the precept that for every action there is a reaction and that when children watch violence on television their natural instinct when confronted with situations like those viewed would be...