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Dreamwidthians and other bloggers represent a new generation in which computers not only surround us, but are practically essential in our every day lives.  With the creation of websites such as, accessing television programs via the internet has become even more easy to accomplish.  Those of us who may not have spent an hour or two per evening watching various television programs may now do so, thanks to the ease of such technology.

Bushman & Anderson, along with many other researchers, have conducted studies stating that media violence is responsible for a large number of crimes committed by children, teenagers, and young adults who watch a great deal of television shows that are "reality-based", such as Law & Order, CSI: Miami, etc.  Some networks, such as FOX, now have content ratings posted at the beginning of every program as well.

"About 350 characters appear each night on prime-time TV, but studies show an average of seven of these people are murdered every night. If this rate applied in reality, then in just 50 days everyone in the United States would be killed—and the last left could turn off the TV." ("Hollywood’s Three Big Lies," Reader’s Digest, Oct. 1995, 156–57.)

What are your thoughts regarding all of this?  Do Bushman & Anderson make a valid argument, that there is too much violence in the present-day media?  Or do you find yourself thinking that the amount of violence is merely a way to generate viewers' interest in the program?  Should further requirements and restrictions be placed on television programs, so as to ensure that children are not exposed to such violence?  Or do you feel that the networks have done enough by posting the content ratings at the beginning of every show that may be deemed too violent in nature?  Finally, how large of a role do you believe the media plays in influencing a child's violent tendencies?  90%?  50%?  25%?  10%?  What other factors (ex. abusive parents, dangerous neighborhood, negative peer pressure, etc.) come to mind when considering these percentages?

(no subject)

Date: 2009-06-02 01:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Less than 10%. Networks should prevent kids from watching shocking images, but not exactly restrict content. (Then again, I believe an informed child is a well raised child. I wouldn't show my kids pornography, but I would explain the details behind it. I wouldn't want them to see the most shocking images of war, but I would explain what war is and why it happens. If it's not shocking to most adults, I have no problem with kids seeing it.)

There are so many other factors - like the parents, and the school - which come into play that a child with a healthy environment will be only marginally affected by the video games / tv shows they watch. Children are actually pretty good at distinguishing what's real and what's not. If taught properly, they will also learn to distinguish good from evil. Example goes a long way to making sure they understand what they are watching/playing is not how the real world is (or should be). The primary caregivers should be the ones with the most burden on their shoulders (and alas, we now push it over to the tv stations and game designers because we can't be bothered to monitor what our kids watch. "I let my child watch tv unsupervised between 5pm and 10pm, so you must tailor the programming to suit my desires," instead of watching tv with your kids and explaining things when they don't understand them.)

The tv shows / media are becoming scapegoats for all sorts of things. Violent and hate crimes have always existed - they're more publicised now than ever, but they have always been there. They're not new. And playing violent games may be a good stress relief sometimes.

Animals fight to establish dominance, to punish behavior, to complain. To expect different from humans just because we are somehow more "rational" is unrealistic. When push comes to shove, we're just as impulsive as the next living creature.

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