Media & Adolescence
Concern about children and violence through the media has a long history. The attention is divided between the two sides which view media as an insignificant problem or the opposite, a threat. Everyone, male or female, white or black, child or adult, are affected and influenced by the media. We learn from television each day, and without the slightest intent do we take after what we see. There is no doubt that children alter their ways of life due to media, and more than ever do I think it is for the worse.
Parents are their children’s most important teachers. If one is not around, the other is. What if both are not home? Let’s say they are both employed, a clichéd 9-5 job, who is home then? We live in an era where both parents are often working and children have more unsupervised time. The child has no one to turn to but the television set, and if one parent is home, it is likely the child will continue to be in this scenario where the television is concerned. Fact: The average American child will have watched 100,000 acts of televised violence including 8,000 depictions of murder, by the time he or she is 13 years of age. (LtCol) With 28 hours of television per week, one cannot help but to parallel the two, television and its impact on violence. (Beckman)
Truthfully, I believe that the media has done its job to increase hostility among the world’s youth. Numerous studies have demonstrated that children will imitate the aggressive behavior they see on television. The way in which violence is portrayed may suggest to children that violence is the best or only way to resolve interpersonal conflicts. ‘Why not punch this kid that’s bothering me, if the Power Rangers can do it, why not me?’ Much of this type of thinking evolves into the thought process of children. One must take into consideration the age differences in which research is being done as well as what they think as younger or older children that watch television.
As a seventeen year old, if I were to start watching a Jackie Chan film, or anything along the lines of Kill Bill, it would not affect me so much. For one, I am old enough to know that these movies are unrealistic and mature enough to realize that I would not put myself in this type of situation. However, for a seven or eight year old boy that surrounds himself with Dragon Ball Z, The Roadrunner, and even Tom & Jerry, will be more likely to accept what he watches. In other words, because he is young and naïve, his eyes tell him that this is on television, therefore, he can practice it, too.
One particular study that interested me the most was “The Bobo Doll Studies”. Here, a group of pre-school children watched a film in which an adult kicked, punched, and threw about a four foot tall, inflatable Bobo the Clown doll, not to mention using a hammer...