Essay about Media Violence

9760 Words Jun 20th, 2005 40 Pages
"Children are among the greatest of imitators…"

The debate over media violence has eluded definitive answers for more then three decades. At first glance, the debate is dominated by one question. Whether or not media violence causes real life violence and whether or not it has a negative effect of the modern day Canadian family. Closer examination reveals a political battle. On one hand, there are those who blame media violence for societal violence and want to censor violent content to protect our children. On the other hand, there are those who see regulation as a slippery slope to censorship or a smoke screen hiding the basic causes of violence in society. One thing is certain: the issue of media violence is not going away.
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Along with the ownership of a television come changes in the way that time is divided within the family unit. A Canadian study that documented the changes in how families spent their time before and after television was introduced into a small town reported that time spent sleeping, at social gatherings outside the home, in conversation, in leisure activities such as reading, knitting, and writing, doing household tasks, and involved in community activities and sports was reduced after television became available (Bryant, Carveth & Brown, 2001). James P. Steyer, author of The Other Parent has commented that the major impact of television may not be in the behaviours that it induces but rather in the behaviours that it pre-empts.
The amount of television viewing time rises from about 2 1/2 hours per day at the age of five to about four hours a day at age twelve (Gammon,1998). During late adolescence viewing time levels increase 2 to 3 hours per day (Torr, 1998). At six months of age, a child will be entertained by a children's television program almost 50% of the time (Torr, 1998). At two years of age, a child will watch children's television programs 78% of the time, but will still imitate the actions of a live person more than those of a person or action on the television. , by three years of age, the child will attend 95% of the time to a children's show and will imitate a televised model to the

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