Development: Does Media Increase Violence?

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Should we be censoring what our children see? Does violence on television, video games, and media sources lead to violent behavior in children? Do children respond to violence with violence? The answer to all of the questions is simple; yes. When young children are exposed to violence, they tend to mimic those behaviors, as they do when they mimic our speech or mannerisms. This is exemplified by Bandura's Bobo the Doll experiment, where parents were aggressive towards an inflated doll, and the child watched. When the parent left the room, the child then moved toward the doll and mimicked their behavior, also being extremely aggressive to the doll. This is also showcased in higher rates of aggression in children that play violent video games. Children, when shown behaviors, tend to absorb and behave in the same manner, especially when shown by trusted adults. Therefore, I think it's extremely important to prevent children from witnessing violence. Some ways to prevent having children exposed to violence includes limiting violent video games, having non-violent age appropriate television programming available, and behaving appropriately in front of young children. These things can help prevent violence in children, which can lead to extreme problems as the child grows.

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I think this is both true and false. True, children emulate. But, I think only at a very very young age. I believe that as children grow older and develop theory of mind, and as they understand that things they see on TV or video game consoles are not accurate representations of real life, they will begin to wise up to the idea that hurting others is not okay. I think also that the speed of this process will get sped up with re-enforcement from the parents, like reminding their kids that hitting is bad, etc. For example, I've been exposed to violence from a relatively young age, but my parents always would watch the violent films (in my case, the James Bond films, which I LOVED), and explain to me during and after each viewing that this was just for fun, and that actually hurting people wasn't a good way to solve my problems (nor is promiscuous sex with multiple partners).

I think that children can be affected by violence in some ways, but not all. I absolutely believe that if a child is reared in a very violent environment (parents are violent, gang violence, etc.) then this can greatly affect how they act towards others. However, video games and TV shows I don't believe have lasting effects on a child's behavior. They may mimic some violent things, but a lot of times when they are very young they don't realize what they are doing. They don't KNOW that they are being violent and they don't know it's wrong to do so. Once they grow older and are taught that violence is wrong and that they can't do that, they are much less likely to do so. However, if their parents or their environment doesn't teach them that violence is wrong, the effects can be dangerous. Just like in the discussion where we talked about the family that were thieves and had a lot of violent behavior. The violence and thievery was passed on generation after generation because of the poor environment they were brought up in, they were taught that stealing and violence were okay so they mimicked it and so did their children. In the end, I believe that the environment has a lot to do with how a child perceives violence.

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This page contains a single entry by skogs012 published on April 29, 2012 6:31 PM.

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