As we turn on the television today, there seems to be more shows that have violence in them then ever before. The same goes true for movies and video games which the violence has a damaging effect on the society. Studies done over the last forty years show that there is a link between media violence and an increase in violet acts committed by juveniles (http://www.ehow.com/about_4595746_does-media-cause-crime.html). With a rise in the violence in juveniles it raises the question whether the media industry has any duty with the violence it shows. Some facts need to be considered when looking at media violence and children. One factor is that many of today’s population watches TV. Many say that the crime rates are going up and down due to the media. Also the shows show types of criminal behavior that could be of interest to the public. Unfortunately with many studies done over the forty years scientist have looked at media and crime they have notice a fine line which can’t be crossed.
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When watching the news do you remember hearing about fourteen year old Michael Carneal firing a .22caliberr into a prayer group (http://www.enotes.com/juvenile-crime-article)? How about sixteen Luke Woodham and fifteen year old Kip Kinkel who both shot their parent and then went to school and shot some classmates (http://www.enotes.com/juvenile-crime-article)? When the media represents a crime such as this the people who do the crime and its affects is how the people began to see that population (Bjornstorm, Kaufman, Peterson, & Slater 2010 p.269-293). Crisis such as can be a time when a population is over-presented as to be a bad person or even under presented as if what was happening did not mattered. When this happens those who are watching TV can end up thinking this behavior is okay and start acting like them (Bjornstorm, Kaufman, Peterson, & Slater 2010 p.269-293).
Since the 1950’s many college professors studied how crime in cartoons and TV shows affected young children (http://www.ehow.com/about_4595746_does-media-cause-crime.htm). They found that after watching the cartoons the children are more aggressive immediately afterward. Also when the parents are involved the child seems to be less aggressive as well (http://www.ehow.com/about_4595746_does-media-cause-crime.htm). Scientist today say that crime images may be a factor as to why young kids chose a life of crime. Yet if their parents are involved in their everyday lives they are less likely to live a life of crime (http://www.ehow.com/about_4595746_does-media-cause-crime.htm). As you can see the findings from the 1950’s is the same the findings today. One can see that there is no real evidence to say whether watching crime on TV leads to a life of crime they allow more research to be done. With forty years of research it is still hard to say ya or nah (http://www.ehow.com/about_4595746_does-media-cause-crime.htm).
In the case of the three teens, there was a interest that the juvenile crime rate would raise even though there was a sixty-eight percent decrease between 1993 and 1999 (http://www.enotes.com/juvenile-crime-article). Of the four major crimes juveniles are arrested for such as robbery, rape, murder, and aggravated assault it dropped by thirty-six percent between 1994 and 1999 (http://www.enotes.com/juvenile-crime-article). However these statistics are deceive able due to such shootings as the three teens (http://www.enotes.com/juvenile-crime-article). The shootings only proofed that there is an increase in juvenile crime and not a decrease like the statistics believe. When it comes down to just how much crime juvenile’s are responsible for there is a tug a war between the Gallup Poll and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (http://www.enotes.com/juvenile-crime-article). The 2000 Gallup Poll believes that the juveniles are responsible for forty-three percent while OJJDP believes juvenile’s are only responsible for twelve percent (http://www.enotes.com/juvenile-crime-article). To me it is not not how much crime they are responsible for, but what gave them the idea to do the crime.
After being arrested for the crimes he committed, Michael Carneal was asked what gave him the idea to commit such a crime in such a way (http://www.enotes.com/juvenile-crime-article). He said he had in the 1995 movie The Basketball Diaries (http://www.enotes.com/juvenile-crime-article). For anyone who has seen The Basketball Diaries know that there is a character who is a promising young poet and basketball player (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112461/). He turns to the sleazy life of someone who is addicted to heroin (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112461/). In one of his highs he goes into a dream sequence in which after breaking the door to his high school down he kills his fellow classmates (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112461/). It is scenes like these that lead to real teens thinking that if they have a problem at school this is how they should deal with it.
The example of Carneal is proof that television has brainwashed our daily lives. We have become addicted to the television as if it was it’s own special kind of drug. The media which is placed on the television can be said to target young adults and teenagers. As shown by Carneal the media influences teens to demonstrate through their body image, peer/ media pressure and sexual misconduct. Based on a study done in 1994 by the National Cable Television Association this is very true. They found that violent content of television shows increased from over one-half of prime time. By the end of the study violence took the majority of television sending bad messages to teens (http://www.enotes.com/juvenile-crime-article). On top of that villains of the violent scenes seem to not get in trouble for the crimes they commit as well as the villain having no injury even after getting wounded (http://www.enotes.com/juvenile-crime-article). Such depiction give teenagers the sense that it is okay to act like this and get the “teenage image” which is not always a good image.
We all know how important a teenager’s image is everything to them. They look to actors and singers on television to give them that image they are looking for. Unfortunately, singers such as TuPac, 50 cent, Britney Spear, and and Lil Kim are some who catch our teen’s eye. Under the image are what use to be young people who started making the right choices, but made the wrong choices. Producers of the television shows and the market pick these people due to their invisible attitude and sex appeal. Spending a few millions of dollars in advertising is no big deal to them when they sell their clothing (http://www.suite101.com/content/advertising-to-teens-a14289). When you see teenager spending so much money to fit in or to be seen by the opposite sex with that “sex appeal” that is advertised it is really scary. There are those who ask the advertiser why they spend millions of dollars on advertising to contract teenagers and they will deny it (http://www.suite101.com/content/advertising-to-teens-a14289).
At first glance the “thug” image is of someone in prison, which is what it is. Criminals receive a “one size fits all” outfits when they are brought to the jail. Teen’s try to re-create this prison image, but that is not the only thing they re-create. With the image comes the actions that comes with it. The same goes for the girls. No girl wants to put a belly shirt on or low cut jeans when they feel as though their over weight (http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/issues/stereotyping/women_and_girls/). This is when many girls become obsess with their bodies and become anorexic. All over the television you see young girls and women portrayed as femme fatale, supermom, or sex kitten (http://www.suite101.com/content/advertising-to-teens-a14289). It does not matter the role the women still looks good and gets what she wants in the end. These portrayals are what pushes them to join health clubs and attempt the fashion body as well as the anorexia. Both the “thug” image and the image of the young girls have something today with the crime since they are getting the ideas from the media.
You are probably wondering what does image and violence seen on television have to do with crime caused by the media. It has more to do with it then anyone of us can about. When a villain gets shot and he does not die on top of the cool “thug” look it is tell guys that if they dress this way or act that way nothing will happen. In 1982 NIMH report reinforced this conclusion, and many other organizations took part in viewing media violence this way as well (http://www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/pspi/pspi43.pdf). They saw media violence as a serious threat to public health because it stimulates violent behavior by youth (http://www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/pspi/pspi43.pdf). An example of this would be on New York channels during a one week of content analysis of prime-time output, there were 3,421 acts and threats of violence observed (http://www.enotes.com/juvenile-crime-article). When looking at the violent committed many of these acts were committed without any compensation for the action (http://www.enotes.com/juvenile-crime-article). Maybe that is why by the 1990’s most researchers had arrived to the idea that the effect of media violence on aggressive and violent behavior was real, causal, and significant (http://www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/pspi/pspi43.pdf).
Once they realized that media violence and aggression was a problem they need to figure out how to fix the problem and the long and short-term effects. Some of the short-term effects are thought to be due to observational learning and imitation (http://www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/pspi/pspi43.pdf). There is arousal and excitation as well as priming (http://www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/pspi/pspi43.pdf). Arousal and excitation are not harmful as long as the person does not start a fantasy about how a curtain girl should be. Long-term effects range from observational learning to emotional habituation (http://www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/pspi/pspi43.pdf). On the flip side some researchers see observational learning as a short-term effect. You have to remember that the reinforcements a person receives when intimidating a behavior are largely responsible for whether the behavior persists (http://www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/pspi/pspi43.pdf). Some how the consequences of short-term and long-term effects are different.
A good way to look at aggression is with a longitudinal study. In chapter three three we learned that that a longitudinal study is where people measured at two or more points (Aron et. al, 2008, p. 86). In this study they surveyed sixth- and seventh-grade from twenty middle schools across the US on four different occasions (http://www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/pspi/pspi43.pdf). Two components of media violence and aggressiveness were measured for three thing a piece. Media violence was measured for assessing the frequency of watching action movies, playing video games involving firing a weapon, and visiting Internet sites that describe or recommend violence (http://www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/pspi/pspi43.pdf). Aggressiveness was measured by aggressive cognition, values, and behavior (http://www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/pspi/pspi43.pdf). What makes it on the graph is on the vertical line you have average effect size represented by r (http://www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/pspi/pspi43.pdf). On horizontal line you have five behaviors. Three have to do with aggressiveness while the last two have have to do with helping behavior and physiological arousal.
There is also an standard error. Standard errors are shown in research articles as the lines that go above the tops of the bars (Aron et. al, 2008, p. 186). When they were done with the study they said that it was weak and that more studies needed to be done. That is where the meta-analysis comes in and the fact that maybe parents should play a bigger role. Meta-analysis looked at the methodological feature of the study in greater detail (http://www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/pspi/pspi43.pdf). When they did so they divided the study into two categories without using the methodological problems (http://www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/pspi/pspi43.pdf). In doing so for the five behaviors the best study was chosen to show how they affect each child. Here is an example of the graph from the article I got my information from.
Aggessive aggressive Aggressive Helping PH
behavior cognition affect behavior arousal
Parents have a big responsibility to make sure that their children are watching the right television shows. Even though there are some parents out there who do not care what their children watch there are ways to educate parents what these shows are doing to our children. A study done by Singer and Singer stated that when parents take an active interest in what their children are watching the child is more likely to tell the difference between realism and not (http://www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/pspi/pspi43.pdf). It has also been reported that when a parent restricts access to violent television there is a report of lower aggressive tendencies (http://www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/pspi/pspi43.pdf). We all know that when parents are involved children are less to get in trouble. Parents can’t do all the work. The government and those who make the shows nee to take responsibility for what they make as well.
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Today efforts such as the V-chip and media education have been used to lessen the effects of media violence, but there is still not a stop. They talk about a gap that needs to be filled when it comes to some parts of the research (http://www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/pspi/pspi43.pdf). What they do know is that when you reduce exposure you reduce aggression (http://www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/pspi/pspi43.pdf). Even with the V-chip and educating parents the media world is changing and so how parents protect their children from aggression will change as well. It seems like they will like to see the media world helping as well (http://www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/pspi/pspi43.pdf).
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