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Violence is not a new phenomenon for the humanity, considering the fact that the history of humanity has been marred by different kinds of violence, for as long as it can be remembered. Nevertheless, violence has become a major problem for the modern society, due to the speed and ease of access of the medium through which it is being transmitted (Kunkel, 2007). In the modern society, TV programming, Video games, movies, computer games and other forms of gaming simulations are all marred with different natures of violence that is accessible t the users of these media ((Huesmann, Moise-Titus, Podolski & Eron, 2003). Additionally, the consumption of the media has also increased to very significant levels, with the average American individual estimated to be spending 6 hours watching TV or consuming other forms of media. The increase in access and consumption of violent media is not without its share of grave consequences to the society.
The existing body of research on the effect of media violence on children and young adults has reported that there is a major connection between the consumption of violent media and the children’s and young adult’s violent behaviors (Beresin, 2014). The increased consumption of violent media has in turn made violence more rampant in the society, especially among the children, teens and young adults, with incidences such as mass shootings, homicides, suicides, gun violence and even school shootings and other forms of bullying rising to unprecedented levels ((Huesmann, Moise-Titus, Podolski & Eron, 2003). The counter arguments have held that the increase in the levels of violence among children and the young adults is multifactorial, contributed by other social factors such as poverty, domestic and social violence, psychiatric distress and substance abuse (Beresin, 2014). However, the existing findings from researches conducted to establish the effect of media violence on the society have provided compelling evidence to show that media violence impacts negatively on the children and young adults’ behavior. For example, there is a major correlation between the rise in the consumption of violent media and the increasing violent behaviors of children and youths. In the 1950s, only about 10% of the American households had television, but the statistics have now changed, with 99% of households in the United States now having television, while 50% of children in the United States have TV sets in their rooms (Beresin, 2014). Complimentarily, research has indicated that the level of rise in children and young adults’ violent behavior has increased by an estimated 46% since the 1950s to presently (Beresin, 2014). It is such correlation that goes to indicate that indeed, the consumption of violent media has a negative impact of increasing the children and young adult’s violent behaviors.
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Further, violent media has a negative impact on the behaviors f both children and young adults. This is because; the increased exposure of children to violent media has resulted in the children increasingly learning aggressive attitudes and behaviors, which they eventually apply in their lives (Kunkel, 2007). The existing research has indicated that children watch approximately 28 hours of TV in a week, while other research indicating that before children n the United State turns 18 years old, they will have watched over violent acts on television and other media amounting to 200,000 acts, out of which 16,000 of such act constitutes murder (Beresin, 2014). Additionally, research has indicated that on average, television programming displays on average 812 acts of violence in one hour, while children programming such as cartoons and animations display an average of 20 violent acts in one hour (Beresin, 2014). Therefore, with children consistently exposed to such acts of violence starting an early age when they are not able to differentiate between the fictional and true acts of life, they are prone to adopting the violent behavior acts and implementing them in life (Beresin, 2014). Thus, the exposure e of children and young adults’ to violent behavior is having the negative implications of increasing the levels of violent attitudes, behaviors and actions in the society.
Most fundamentally, the continued exposure of acts of violence through different media such as TV, movies, cartoons programming, video games and computer games, has the negative impact of desensitizing children and young adults on the actual outcomes of violent acts (Kunkel, 2007). The more children and young adults are exposed to acts of violence through different media on an everyday basis, the more such children and young adults becomes insensitive to acts of violence and their outcomes to the victims ((Huesmann, Moise-Titus, Podolski & Eron, 2003). Consequently, such children and young adults who are increasingly exposed to violent behavior through the media have lost all sympathy and affection towards the victims of violent acts, and instead developed insensitivity, callousness and casualness towards the victims (Kunkel, 2007). Desensitization to violence occurs due to the increased frequency with which the children and young adults are exposed to violent acts, for example where more than 50%, o precisely 53% of all the violent acts displayed by the media are lethal, with 25% of such violent acts involving guns (Kunkel, 2007). When children grow in an environment where gun and other forms of lethal violence are normalized through the media, hey increasingly become unconscious of the pains and hurt the victims of the violent acts experience, rather conceiving victims as mere objects (Huesmann, Moise-Titus, Podolski & Eron, 2003). The desensitization of the children and young adults who are exposed to violent media is dangerous for the society, because it informs the coldness with which such children and young adults are able to take a gun and shoot their school peers dead in an instant, without any feelings of remorse (Beresin, 2014).
In conclusion, violent media has negative implications on the behaviors, attitudes and actual actions of children and young adults. The modern society is facing increasingly high levels of violent acts committed by children and young adults. Such violent incidences include violent school shootings and acts of bullying in schools, which have continued to increase significantly. The consumption of violent media by children and young adults have increased to levels of 28 hours a week, thus normalizing violence and desensitizing the children and young adults on the victims suffering. The outcome is that violence among children and young adults is increasingly becoming casual.
- Beresin, E. (2014). The Impact of Media Violence on Children and Adolescents: Opportunities for Clinical Interventions. Retrieved from: https://www.aacap.org/aacap/Medical_Students_and_Residents/Mentorship_Matters/DevelopMentor/The_Impact_of_Media_Violence_on_Children_and_Adolescents_Opportunities_for_Clinical_Interventions.aspx
- Huesmann, L. R., Moise-Titus, J., Podolski, C. L., & Eron, L. D. (2003). Longitudinal relations between children’s exposure to TV violence and their aggressive and violent behavior in young adulthood: 1977-1992. Developmental Psychology, Vol. 39, No. 2, pp. 201-221.
- Kunkel, D. (2007).The Effects of Television Violence on Children. American Psychological Association. Retrieved from: http://www.apa.org/about/gr/pi/advocacy/2008/kunkel-tv.aspx