Television Violence Negatively Impacts Children Essay

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Littleton, Colorado; Springfield, Oregon; Jonesboro, Arkansas; Pearl, Mississippi. These previously unknown suburban cities will forever be branded into our minds. These cities are linked by one devastating factor: young students firing upon fellow students and educators. What causes these young people to "snap" causing the violent shooting sprees? Although the events are too recent to fully understand their causes, we can try to understand what led to the disastrous situations.

The impact of television violence on youth behavior has been an issue for many years. Television stations and their executives tend to deny television's contribution to youth violence. In the following paragraphs, I will use various examples to
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In 1949, only two percent of homes had a television. Today, the opposite is true; only two percent of homes do not have a television. (Murray, 1) Television is used to inform, entertain, and educate the public. Children make up a large part of television viewers. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) states that "American Children watch an average of three to four hours of television daily." (American, 1) Unfortunately many children are left home alone after school, thus their television viewing is not restricted. Opinions concerning parental and governmental restriction will be covered later in this paper.

Violence on television has notably increased in the last 25 years. William Goodwin stated "A five year study by the American Psychological Association found that the average child witnesses 8,000 murders and 100,000 other acts of violence on television by the seventh grade." (45) John Murray acknowledges this statement and adds that 5 violent acts per hour occur during prime time and 20-25 violent acts occur during Saturday morning children's programming. (Murray, 5) Therefore, some children could be watching 95-125 acts of violence on television every week! War cartoons, like GI Joe and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, would bring the total up even higher. Elaine Landau contends that "a typical war cartoon show averages 41 acts of violence per hour, with an attempted murder every two minutes!" (36)These violent

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