Violence is as old as the human race but now it is an increasing problem in modern society. With unlimited availability of guns explosives, the extent and effectiveness of aggressive activities has resulted in very severe outcomes. If you look at the recent school shootings and the rising rate of youth killings among urban youngsters you will understand the extent of this threatening trend. While the causes of youth violence include such variables as poverty, family psychopathology, child abuse, exposure to domestic and community violence, substance abuse and other psychiatric disorders, the research literature is quite compelling that children’s exposure to media violence plays an important role in their aggressive behavior and violent behavior.
Over the past 30 years there has been extensive research on the relationship between televised violence and violent behavior among youth. Today 99% of homes have televisions. In fact, more families have televisions than telephones. While it is difficult to really know which children who have experienced televised violence are at greatest risk, there appears to be a strong correlation between media violence and aggressive behavior within vulnerable “at risk” segments of youth.
Over half of all children have a television set in their bedrooms. This gives a greater opportunity for children to view programs without parental supervision. Studies reveal that children watch approximately 28 hours of television a week, more time than they spend in school.
It has been conclusively proved by research that very young children will imitate aggressive acts on TV in their play with peers. They become role models for youth. It is “cool” to carry an automatic weapon and use it to knock off the “bad guys. Hence, vulnerable youth who have been victimized may be tempted to use violent means to solve problems. Unfortunately, there are few, if any, models of nonviolent conflict resolution in the media. Additionally, children who watch televised violence are desensitized to it. They may come to see violence as a fact of life and, over time, lose their ability to empathize with both the victim and the victimizer.
The average American child will view more than 200,000 acts of violence, including more than 16,000 murders before age 18. Television programs display 812 violent acts per hour; children’s programming, particularly cartoons, displays up to 20 violent acts hourly. . Before age 4, children are unable to distinguish between fact and fantasy and may view violence as an ordinary occurrence. In general, violence on television and in movies often conveys a model of conflict resolution. It is efficient, frequent, and inconsequential. Heroes are violent, and, as such, are rewarded for their behavior. The typical scenario of using violence for a righteous cause may translate in daily life into a justification for using violence to retaliate against perceived victimizers