ng Growing Generation?”I. The BeginningSince the beginning
ng Generation?”Is Violence on Television Acceptable for our Growing Generation?”I. The BeginningSince the beginning of time, there has always been violence.
From the death of Abel by his brother Cain in the Bible, to the mighty gladiator stadiums in Rome ruled by Alexander the Great, to the horrible accusations of the Salem Witch Trials in 1692, to what I will talk about specifically in this position paper, violence on the famous family fun center, the television.To start off, John Logie Baird invented the mechanical television in 1926. The soul purpose of the mechanical television was to be able to see images at home from current events from around the world right in your very own home. But what Baird did not know was that in the future much controversy would come from what was viewed and played on the television set that he had created. The television set has been the center of media violence since the 1950s. II.
The FactsChildren will have spent more than 50% more time in front of the television than in front of the teacher, by the time they graduate high school. It is estimated in many studies that adolescents and children watch a total of twenty-two to twenty-eight hours of television a week. The average American household has their television set turned on for more than seven hours a day. The average American child watches three to four of those hours that the television set is turned on. About 98% of Americans own at least one television set in their household. And about 65% of all people who own a television set have at least two or more television sets in their household.
It is estimated that young children in America will have seen 8,ooo murders and 1oo,ooo acts of violence by the time they leave elementary school. III. The Reality CasesMark Branch, a teenager from Massachusetts, stabbed a female college student to death and then killed himself shortly after. Found in his room, were over ninety horror movies including the Friday the 13th film series. Along with these movies, a goalie mask and a machete were found. The famous character of the Friday the 13th series, Jason, wore these items while he stalked and killed his victims. Nathaniel White describes killing his first female victim by imitating a scene from Robocop II: ” I seen him cut somebody’s throat then take the knife and slit down the chest to the stomach and leave the body in a certain position.
With the first person I killed, I did exactly what I saw in the movie.”A grammar school child showered a Bronx office building with gunfire in New York City. “I watch a lot of television,” was what the little boy pronounced as he told an astounded police sergeant how he became skilled at loading his Uzi-like gun.In the fall of 1995, in New York, a group of youths set fire to a subway token booth by spraying flammable liquids through the opening for the change slot. The booth exploded and the subway attendant in the booth was badly burned.
That year in December, the attendant died as a result of extensive burns. The movie Money Train influenced this attack.IV. Opposing View PointsPeople who are opposed to television violence believe that is the responsibility of the network to monitor and sensor what they show on television.
In a study of over forty years, Madeline Levine found that many children have found violence as a first resort to settle indifferences instead of the last resort. Madeline also stats that children who are heavy viewers of television are more pessimistic, more aggressive, are less imaginative, weigh more, and are less empathic. According to Madeline’s sources of information, America has become the most leading country in the world of violence. Homicide is the leading cause of death among large parts of our country’s youth.
While speaking to the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs in 1992, Leonard Eron, one of the country’s leading authorities on media and children, stated: ” There can no longer be any doubt that heavy exposure to televised violence is one of the causes of aggressive behavior, crime and violence in society.
The evidence comes from both the laboratory and real-life studies. Television violence affects youngsters of all ages, of gender, at all socio-economic levels and all levels of intelligence. The effect is not limited to children who are already disposed to being aggressive and is not restricted to this country.”May of 1995, Bob Dole distributed a sweltering attack on the entertainment industry.
He stated, “A line has been crossed – not just of taste but of human dignity and decency.”In itself, television shouldn’t be criticized. The television has shown to be a useful tool bringing shows to children such as Sesame Street and School House Rock.
These two shows are examples that help children grow intuitively, imaginatively, intelligently, and help to promote many new skills as well as social skills. In a statement by a mother of an eleven-year-old, she stated that her and her son turned on the news one evening to find “disturbing images” followed by scenes of critically injured and even a few dead children. “In the two seconds it took me to reach over and change channels, those blood-soaked images were burned into our minds,” the mother of the eleven-year-old confirmed.
That night her son had very much difficult sleeping and had many nightmares on that night and some nights to follow. In a harsh attack of a statement against media executives, she declared that media executives who invoke First Amendment rights to justify such irresponsible programming are cowards. Owww, that had to hurt the media executives.According to the American Medical Association, National Institute of Mental Health, and the American Psychology Association, children who watch too much violence on television are becoming more fearful, more prone to aggression, and more likely to resort to violence instead of other methods.Many media activists have decided to take a stand against television violence.
Their outcome of their struggle is the “V-Chip.” As the result of the collaborative efforts of Senator Paul Simon (Democrat from Illinois), Senator Kent Conrad (Democrat from Nevada), and Representative Edward Mackey (Democrat from Massachusetts), the “V-Chip” legislation became part of the Telecommunications Act. This law requires manufacturers to install the “V-Chip” in new television sets and that the ratings of the networks must be recognized by the “V-Chip.” The law requires the networks to establish the system, but not necessarily apply it. The “V-Chip”, with the “V” standing for “violence”, is an electronic blocking device that scrambles channels allowing parents to screen out shows that have bee rated for violent material.
The former president, Bill Clinton, looks on the “V-Chip” as giving the remote control back to the parent.According to AOL (America On Line), it asked members whether they supported the concept of a “V-Chip.” Of the 24,890 responses received, over 55% said they supported the concept of a “V-Chip” in television sets while almost 40% were against it. About the other 5% didn’t care. In a national study, most Americans believe that crime is the number one problem facing society today. Of all developed countries, the United States is the top leading country in homicides.V.
Proactive ViewpointsPeople who believe the proactive viewpoint believe that it is the adult figures who should be the ones to monitor what is on television and it is their responsibility no that of the network. Proactivists believe that to take away or sensor anything from television is in violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, “Congress shall make no lawabridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Under the First Amendment, adults are able to be free and decide for themselves what they watch, read, listen to, and see. If they are witnessing something offensive, then they have the right to change the channel, not read the material, move away from an offensive speaker, and even move away from anything offensive. John Leo, a contributing editor to U.S.
News & World Report states that the amount of violence in television has been exaggerated. In a study by the National Television Violence Study, which was released in February 1996, found that only 57% of all television programs have violence in them. As television violence, as well as other media violence, has grown over the past couple of years, violent crimes have decreased. In thirty-five years, homicides have shown a whooping 12% decrease.
There were double-digit decreases in the murder rate in big cities and suburbs. For five successive years, New York has dropped the levels of homicide back to what it was in 1971. According to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, the homicide rate for white males from the ages of twenty to twenty-four was 12 out of every 1oo,ooo males. The homicide rate for black males from ages twenty to twenty-four was 72 out of every 1oo,ooo males.The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) expressed that if violent television shows, such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Star Trek: Deep Space 9, are cancelled, then every genre of televised shows must be edited. This includes sports, news, and historical documents like the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and even the cartoons like Sesame Street and Pokemon.
If society were to but a grip on televised violence, then the whole industry of sports would be ruined. This means no more “Monday Night Football.” As for the news, they would not be able to show the details of car accidents or arrests or even robberies because of all the violence. There are six ratings in the Television Ratings System.
The first is the rating “Y.” This rating means there is material suitable for children of all ages. The second is the rating “Y7.” This rating states that the material in this program is suitable for children seven and older. The television rating of “G” stands for the material that is suitable for all audiences.
The next rating, “PG,” suggests that parental guidance is needed. The rating “14” means that the material may be inappropriate for children under fourteen. The “M” rating means that that specific program is to be viewed by mature audiences and that it may be unsuitable for children under seventeen.
People who are proactivists for television violence think that it is not the responsibility of the filmmakers and networks to screen their creations or shows. Thus, if a parent complains about a movie in the theater being too violent, then why did she go see it? ALL movies in theaters are rated and if she doesn’t want to see violence, she has the right not to buy a ticket to see that movie.VI. The ConclusionUpon my research, I have found organizations that support both sides of television violence.
As presented in this report, there is still much controversy on this issue. Should the government make the network companies of television censor their networks? Is it the parents’ responsibility to screen what their children watch? Should the television be considered a babysitter? These are all moral issues that are “in the grey area” so to speak. In conclusion, violence on television is affecting our society and we must do something about it.