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Media Violence and Aggression in Children Essay

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Media Violence Causes Aggression in Children and Teenagers


"The media, particularly the news media, defends itself from the charge of encouraging violence by stating they are simply reflecting what exists. Real people are murdered every day. Those who create fictionalized views of violence(movies or TV dramas) rely on the argument that what they are producing should not be taken literally. Only the mentally inadequate would assume the violence was real or try to copy the behavior"(Greek).

Violence has been present since the beginning of the medium and in our history: political violence, ethnic violence, class violence. "You go back to the KKK, you have people committing incredible acts of violence on a grand scale. What is different is the reach of the media. You can now put anything on the screen; there's no longer a sense of things being off limits," Eric Foner, Columbia University's DeWitt Clinton Professor of History said(qtd. in Cole). This is very true, broadcasting of the Vietnam War was America's first glimpse at the brutal truth of war. It raised the acceptable threshold of violence on television; the infamous images prepared audiences for the fictional gore later depicted in such television shows as "NYPD Blue" and "ER"(Cole). What about society's responsibility?

Violence in America has also been linked to economic changes. Economic hardships in the 1930s and the late 1970s resulted in the highest homicide level in this century. This relation persists today. Bob Dole and others believe it is simply the breakdown of family values, but it corresponds with deindustrialization. Rates of criminal violence have dropped significantly over the past 10 years, except among the young, the part of the population most ...


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...terns we establish in our youth are the base for lifelong patterns evident in adulthood. And we must make the right decisions or at least make sure we make the right decisions for our children.

Works Cited

American Psychological Association. Violence on Television: What do Children Learn? What can Parents Do? Washington: Brochure, 1997.

Carlson, Margaret. "The Real Money Train." Time. 11 Dec. 1995: 20-21.

Cole, Lewis. "Violence and the Meida: The wrong controversy?" 21stC. http://www.columbia.edu/cu/21stC/issue-1.2/Media.htm. (15 Nov. 1997).

Greek, Cecil. "Media and Reality." Crime and Media. http://www.fsu.edu/%7Ecrimdo/lecture1.html. (15 Nov. 1997).

Murray, John P. "Impact of Televised Violence." Kansas Journal of Law & Policy. 4.3 (1995): 7-14

Vivian, John. The Media of Mass Communication. 4th ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. 1997.


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