So Much Violence, Whats the Big Deal?

So what if there’s a lot of violence in the media? Well, there are many studies that link violence in the media to aggression in the children who are exposed to such media. In her article What Is To Blame For Youth Violence Diane Zuckerman states that there are over two hundred studies which prove the case that media violence does indeed create negative effects on the children who see it. Zuckerman has many valid arguments in her article. She explains how it is naïve to think that media doesn’t shape peoples’ beliefs. Her argument stems from the fact that there are dozens of studies that show that TV, movies, and other media affect what viewers believe and how they behave. If this wasn’t the case then why do advertisers spend so much money on their advertisements? Zuckerman says they do this because it has been well established that even a short message can be powerful in shaping behavior.

Zuckerman concedes that media violence cannot be linked as a cause of criminal behavior but she believes it has been proven that media violence does cause the children exposed to it to act more aggressively. She believes that criminal behavior is caused by many factors: family life, school life, communities, and excessive violence in the media. The bottom line of Zuckerman’s report is that yes, if you trust approximately two hundred quality studies, the violence in the media does cause children to behavior in more aggressive ways.

As Zuckerman states there are many quality studies that show this link. One of studies is detailed in the article The Influence of Media Violence on Youth. The research done in this article is on violent television, movies, music and video games, but television and movies are researched the most therefore have the clearest evidence that those two forms of violent media influence children the most.  The article states that exposure to violent forms of media influence children to act more aggressively. The article explains that a substantial number of studies have been done in the past half century examining whether or not violent media effects children. “The consistent finding from such randomized experiments is that youths who watch violent scenes subsequently display more aggressive behavior, aggressive thoughts, or aggressive emotions than those who do not (Anderson 84).” This article gives many examples of a legitimate studies that shows a strong negative link between exposure to media violence and children, and like Zuckerman said there are a couple hundred others as well as hundreds of others that may not be as solid, but do show the same link none-the-less.

            With all the violence shown in media today and the proven links between media violence and aggressive behaviors in the children who see that media it is highly likely that the aggressive behaviors in children are influencing our society. It is believed that this also contributes to criminal behavior but it is important to note that is not the sole cause of it. The article The Effects of Media Violence on Society delves deeper into the issue of how media violence affects not only children but society as a whole. This article gives a history of when media violence became an issue. People became aware of the issue as early as 1946 shortly after broadcasting began and the US Surgeon General found sufficient evidence by 1972 to release the statement “…televised violence, indeed, does have an adverse effect on certain members of our society.” The article continues and states that other scientific studies continue to prove that fact as well as six professional societies in the United States confirming those beliefs with-in each society. With all the evidence confirming the fact that media violence influences children to be more aggressive, it is time for people to take steps to prevent children from seeing so much violent content.

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