Mass Media and Violence
Is it hard to believe that just forty years ago only a few privileged American families had televisions in their home? In recent years, it is estimated that a whopping ninety-eight percent of Americans have one or more television sets in their home. Motion pictures, televisions, video games, and the internet are just some forms of mass media that have emerged since the last century. With the rise of mass media, the increase of violent behavior has increased as well. Mass media influences many factors of people’s lives such as moral beliefs, behavior, and values.
Violence in mass media is greatly dominating our society and continues to do so. It causes aggression and is a growing epidemic among the youth. Scott Barbour praises the American Academy of Pediatrics: “The vast majority of studies conclude that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between media violence and real-life violence. This link is undeniable and uncontestable. ” It is no lie when they say the average American child witnesses 200,000 acts of violence on TV by the age of eighteen. Watching violent TV shows or movies promotes aggression.
People want to follow what everyone else is doing so they will follow and may even commit what these actors are doing on the television. According to L. R. Huesmann, research shows that fictional TV and film violence contribute to both short and long-term increase in aggression and violence in young viewers. Children are in particular are affected by violence, aggression, or sexual abuse in our media because of their helpless psychology. Some forms of aggression include truancy, lack of social skills, and failing out of school. It is no doubt that the media that promotes violence and aggression is the same one to have an effect on society.
This is a monkey see, monkey do world and people may not even know that they being effected, but they are. Especially with the next generation coming up, they sort of are growing up with the violence. It becomes more and more traumatic as they see it more. According to Mughal, children and teen’s values and beliefs will become more aggressive. He goes on to say that media portrays war as entertainment [in video games]. War is not entertainment and nobody wins in real war while real people are getting killed. This illustrates another problem: can ociety depict from reality and fantasy? Most of the recent shootings in the United States were committed by the youth. Is it just a coincidence or is it because of the hostility displayed on their television sets? Many people think that violence in media is entirely based on real life.
They proclaim that since we live in the real world, the media cannot possibly be more violent than what we already know. Actually, it is impossible for people to know all horrific events that have taken place. Also, some would say that it is up to the individual to decide what to be exposed to. That is not true, since you are exposed to cruel media whether you know it or not. Even on the news, “Crimes such as murders, robberies, and abuse are shown as deviant behavior” rather than actual violence. In conclusion, violence in media does affect society. It is a growing wave and teaches aggression. Some solutions could be placing regulations on TV and motion picture producers. If gun makers have regulations on guns they make, why not placing rules on producers? Also, parents should be aware of what their children watch.