Violence has always been depicted to evolve in quite a number of media formats. Media violence is often blamed for its implications in causing violence in the actual living and especially on children. This fact is particularly felt by those who aim at protecting the children moral aspects. Media violence has also to the larger extent had an impact on the political issues. In deed, media violence has been blamed for the general violence in the society. Therefore it has resulted into debates that analyze why and how is used by the press organizations. This paper analyzes the negative effects of media violence.
The harmful effects of media violence in children can not be overlooked sine the children hold a special place in the society as the future generation and are in their developing stage. Modern lifestyle characterizes hectic lifestyles of parents who leave the children without anyone to inspire them but the media particularly the television. The television as used as an informative tool is more influential than all the other press gadgets. Movie serial killers and murderers mesmerize children who accord them a lot of attention and thus the children practice what they see on the television. Freedman reports that people are not only overwhelmed by the attention psychopath murderers receive but are also disillusioned by those tough stars who snap people’s lives with very little effort. (Freedman, 2002, p. 218). Thus, exposure to media violence results to increased violence and aggression among the youth who are naturally desensitized by such violence. Such repercussions of media violence are not only short-lived but also affect the children later in their adult lives. Violence is a learned behavior which is learnt by children from their role models: parents, family, neighbors and even peers. Such behavior is matter of factly reinforced by what is watched on the television, the internet, music videos and even what is heard from the music. Anderson reports that youth and children on average spent at least four hours with the television, computer, video games and videotaped movies. Most children are seldom monitored or even restricted from watching the video violence. Thus, media violence in deed causes real life violence since exposure to the same triggers sentiments of hostility, suspicion and even aggression in conformity to what is aired on the media. (Berkowit, 2003, p. 2).
According to Marti, ‘the influence of the media in case of children, in relation to advertising and stereotyping are based on the moral majority. (Baker, 1997, p. 32). Television shows that are violent cause actions of physical aggression among the youths and children at the same time encouraging ancient forms of male chauvinism and even military fights. The negative effects of media violence adversely affect the social status of everyone in the society. Media violence encourages people to take protective measures against the repercussions and even results to aggression. It may also yield sentimental impacts whereby disgust, excitement or shock is produced. The audience is driven to internalize the fact that being victimized by some people in certain conditions is normal. Media violence often results to certain form of behavior which might be adverse or even complex. The television can be regarded as harmful influence to the entire society since a lot of violent shows are launched on the same; they thus have powerful effects on the children and the youth. According to Martin, “the television can cause negative responses like fear, sadness and worry just like it can cause pleasure, amusement and even excitement. Children are normally adversely affected by disastrous images or domestic strife as launched on television comedies. Children in deed put to practice what they view from the television.
Children’s ways of perceiving scenes especially those from violent media are quite diverse. They become terrified by terror movies yet are unable to control their fear by imagining that the scenes are fictitious and become immune to such violence. In the long run, they internalize the fact that such violence in real life is okay and can be easily coped with. The media can therefore be blamed to some extent for increased moral decadence and the rise in crime. People view violence as part of their daily living as the thrilling horror movies portray it as a basic part of living. Children growing in such environment will often practice the acts of violence as they actually see them on movies and do not consider violence as a vice. People believe that media violence causes aggression if they themselves have been victims of such. Children imitate violent actors on the television, a thing that they carry on into their adult lives. They participate in fighting as they witness the tactics of the same from the media. Cases have been heard and even witnessed on children trying to punch their playmates or shoot them with toy guns as they watch it done on the media. Lawrence notes that, ‘real exposure to media violence has led to increased homicide cases and other violent crimes. (Kutner, 2008, p. 3). Media violence coupled with other significant social forces has resulted to increased crime rates.
Media violence can thus be said to have negative overwhelming effects to the youth and the entire society to the greater extent. Children today have access to the television, the internet and even magazines as their prime sources of information. Though this progress in the ways of living is commendable, the children are exposed to media violence and even pornography that lives a lot to be worried about by their concerned parents. There is a dire need for a review of the media programs in order to protect the children from the negative effects of the media violence. In fact, rules should be stet governing certain aspects of the media especially those that have children as the target group. The television programs with acts of violence should be banned or even cancelled for the good of the future generation; the children. Following the evidence that media violence actually has negative effects to both the children and the youth, a lot ought to be done by the relevant authorities such as the government to prevent the long term repercussions of such violence on the children.
Berkowit, A., Anderson, C., The influence of media violence on youth psychological science in the public interest. 4 (3), 2003.
Claire, Freedman, et al. Media and its effect on aggression Assessing Scientific evidence, United States: University of Toronto Press, 2002.
Kutner, L. ‘The Myths & Politics of Media Violence’. Colloquia Pod cast 15th Sep 2008.
Petley, J., Baker M. Media Violence has a Negative Effect. United States: Routledge Group. 1997.