Final Project AssignmentTopic #2: Do children mimic the violence they see on television, video games and in films? Or, does the violence we see in the media simply reflect what is going on in real life?William Clark11 May 2019Media and Society Comm 128 VAInstructor: Dr. Sungwon ChungMonkey See, Monkey Do! Why do we do the things we do? What prompts us, enables us, entices us, and ultimately brings forth action? Many times it is what we see that causes us to react and to do.
There is a natural instinctual, almost universal, thought most adults share that kids will essentially do what they see. This begs the question, what are kids seeing? Recent studies, along with many countless previous studies, show and conclude that screen time in the form of television, tablets, computers, and phones continues to rise. This meteoric rise of media ingestion now commands the attention of approximately 5-7 hours of screen time per day for kids 8-18 as reported by the US National Library of Medicine (Mediline).
Children as young as two are introduced to screen time, with ages 2-5 averaging close to two hours of screen time per day ( There has never been a time in human history when children are exposed to excessive hours of media images, media audio, and media stories. Beyond the larger question of why kids are exposed to that enormous amount of media, let’s explore the content or what that is being exposed to our future generations. Extracting just the television viewing portion from total screen time that kids consume, children between the ages of 2 and 18 spend an average of three hours each day watching television. Violence displayed on television aimed specifically for kids was measured and the children’s category rated highest! Measured during the span of 3 years, a national television study reported by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that children’s television shows had the most violence of all television programming. Statistics revealed that some cartoons alarmingly average twenty acts of violence in one hour. Added up over time, by the age of 18 children will have seen a staggering 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence on television ( Another large segment of daily media screen time is consumed playing video games. Measured over time, the average daily video game play among kids ages 8-18 was about 26 minutes per day in 1999, shooting to almost two hours per day by 2009. Nowadays, the numbers are still rapidly climbing and are even higher for boys, 25 percent of whom play video games for four or more hours per day ( Violence in video games? You bet – lots of it. More than 90 percent of video games that are rated E10+, Teen, or Mature have some kind of violent imagery. What about the video games that are rated as E, or suitable for everyone. Even E rated video games, which the Entertainment Software Rating Board defines as suitable for all ages and may contain minimal violence, are potentially exposing even very young video game players to violence. So much so that one study found that 35 of 55 E rated games involved deliberate violence, with 33 reward violence or requiring violence to advance in the game ( Young people are especially in jeopardy of the negative effects of television violence because “many younger children cannot discriminate between what they see and what is real,” reports the American Academy of Pediatrics. Topic #2: Do children mimic the violence they see on television, video games and in films? Or, does the violence we see in the media simply reflect what is going on in real life? Media violence and its effects on children and teen-agers is one of the most controversial topics involving the media today. This group will need to look at formal research studies that have been done on this subject and what the findings are. (While personal anecdotes may be interesting, the issue here is NOT how violence in the media has or has not affected group members personally, but rather how violence in the media affects children and adolescents overall). There are indications that violence is increasing among young children and adolescents. Has violence in the media contributed to this? What, if anything, should the media be doing in response? (i.e. the new ratings on TV.) Are they effective?References