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Violence in the Media

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Essay title: Violence in the Media

Everyday people sit down in front of their television for the classic American form of entertainment. As Americans sit down to watch their favorite television programs many people do not think about all the violence they are viewing. Violence is found in almost all television shows. Elements such as weapons, blood and attempted murder are not only found in your run of the mill horror and/or action film. Violence can even be found in some unlikely television programs. Researchers report that some of the most violent television shows are America’s Funniest Home Videos, Tom and Jerry, Three Stooges, and Road Runner (Potter, 85). These types of violence are categorized as media violence. Media violence effects America’s children to a large degree and is found in many forms. Yet, the American public is becoming more aware of this influence and is avidly working towards a solution.

There is basic information that needs to be understood in explaining media violence. There is not just one type of media violence. Media violence can be broken up into four different categories. The first type of media violence is heroic violence. Forty percent of all violence on television is started by characters performing a heroic deed. This description of a character greatly encourages children to mock the characters violent behavior. It shows children that if you’re doing something noble and good, it is okay to use acts of violence to achieve your goal. The second type of violence is “happy violence.” Happy violence is thought to make children become very insensitive and lets children think that violence is funny. This is because in many cartoons, the characters are hurt repeatedly until the acts of violence becomes humorous. The third type of violence is “unpunished violence.” Research shows that one-third of the villains who perform acts of violence on television programs are not punished until the end of the program. If the villain was punished soon after the act of violence was committed it would show young viewers that violence is wrong. The last category of violence is wrong. The last category of violence is “painless violence” almost one-half of all television shows do not show the victims in pain. This shows that violence is painless and cannot result in death (Carter, 3).

Studies have shown that there are many reasons why children are highly attracted to these types of violence and there are many different explanations for this. One reason why children are attracted to violence on television is because it can increase a child’s emotional arousal. Children who are bored or under stimulated are most affected by this form of stimulation. This makes these children “sensation-seekers.” This means that people need different kinds of emotional stimulation. Children need a very high stimulation. Another reason why children are attracted to violence is to defy restrictions. Many parents do not allow their children to watch violent shows. This gives children a “forbidden fruit” complex. Children are not allowed to watch these shows and these shows are exactly what they want to watch. Studies have also shown that young males are more interested in aggressive television shows than girls. Studies show that three times as many boys as girls are prone to name a violent cartoon as their favorite. This is because boys are taught that violent actions are more appropriate for them than girls. Data also reveals that a child’s age has a lot to do with the genre of television that they enjoy watching. An example of this is that reality shows popularity with children increases as children get older and action cartoons are predominantly more unpopular as a child increases in age. Yet another theory why children are attracted to violent shows on television is that children are attracted to violent behavior on television because they see their own aggressiveness in the television show. This shows that only children who are already aggressive enjoy watching acts of violence taking place. A very popular reason why children watch violent television is because they need to cope with their own fears about violence in their very own lives. This is why in most television must be resolved. These positive outcomes to the violent acts allow people to resolve their own fears (Goldstein, 88-109).

For these reasons there are many effects that viewing the violent television shows cause. Studies have shown that children who watch a lot of violent television shows are less likely to see anything with the acts of violence. In several studies, it has been proven that children who watched a lot of violent television shows were less likely to call for help from an adult or intervene himself/herself when they view other children arguing or getting into a fight. These children were surrounded by violence for hours and when these children had to

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