Television programming is all about showing reality without censorship, meaning that child watchers are inundated with shows depicting physical and sexual violence, as well as the use of illegal substances and harsh language. Unfortunately, due to this proliferation of negative media content, it may only be a matter of time before life imitates fiction, and children begin to copy the acts almost immediately and directly. Extensive reserve evidence indicates that media violence can contribute to aggressive behavior, desensitization violence, nightmares, and fear of being harmed.
Children between the ages of two and eighteen spend an average of three hours each day watching television. A study shows that children’s shows had the most violence of all television programming. Statistics read that some cartoons average twenty acts of violence in one hour, and that by the age of eighteen children will have seen 16000 simulated murders and 200000 acts of violence on television. Young people are especially in jeopardy of the negative effects of television violence because many young children cannot discriminate between what they see and what is real.
Sigmund Freud believed that children need to develop a sense of morality by the age of five or they could experience difficulties later in life. If a child doesn’t learn to understand the difference between right and wrong, s/he will not develop a proper understanding of guilt or remorse, and will thus be more likely to engage carelessly in behavior that is considered socially and morally wrong. The article “Children, Adolescents, and Television”, states that research has shown television violence to have a negative effect on the academic performance, sexuality, body concept and self image of young viewers, which can lead to violent or aggressive behavior and substance abuse.
Study showed that 61 percent of programming portrayed interpersonal violence, much of it in an entertaining or glamorized manner. Children are drawn to such programming when the violent act seems surreal and lack of consequence attractive.
According to “Children Adolescents and Television”, 37 percent of parents reported their child being frightened or upset because of a television news story. While children are watching television, they are being bombarded 60 percent of the time, with various images of violent acts. Viewing hour after hour of violence increases the likelihood that a child will see the world as a dark and sinister place.
Fear of being the victim of violence is a strong motivation for some young people to carry a weapon, or to be more aggressive. Violence portrayed on television is shaping the attitudes and manners of society. Repeated exposure to violence on television increases the likelihood of responding to another with violence.
Often times, too much watching of the television takes kids attention away from their studies. It is discovered that the high rate in failures at school is due to the increased number of hours kids devote to watching television. Parents are also not helping issues, they are often times not available to caution their wards.
Most kids watch movies late into the night, this makes them have less hours of sleep which is hazardous to health.