There is an ongoing debate about media violence and how it affects aggressive behavior in children and teens. The Television Violence Monitoring Project did some studies on the amount of violence present in American Television over the course of three years. Below are some of the findings:
- More than half of the shows on television contain violence. Of that percentage, only 4% of them have a theme for antiviolence.
- More than 40 percent of the characters who act out violently on television have qualities and features that would make children want to emulate them.
- More than 40 percent of the violence on television involves humor.
- Of the violence displayed on television, about 75% of the attackers do not receive immediate punishment for their actions.
The research shows that when violence is displayed, there are no real consequences for the actions. Not many of the shows display pain, and show unrealistic reactions.
Connecting the Dots from Violence on TV and Movies to Aggressive Behavior
There are now studies that will support that there is a connection between children being exposed to violent television and movies and aggressive behavior. In fact, research has shown that when children are allowed to watch violent acts play out on TV or the big screen, they will immediately respond in a more physical and verbal aggressive manner. While further research is needed, there are studies that show that those who are exposed to violence early on through television or movies are more likely to become aggressive or violent teenagers.
Aggressive Behavior and Violent Music Videos
Music can be a mood changer for adults. When you put on a song, the words then have meaning that can be acted out without even noticing it. Studies have shown that overly violent music videos can have an adverse affect on a young mind. Much like television, music videos do not do much to show violence as being a negative thing or that there are consequences for negative actions. As a result, children try to emulate their favorite musician and act out aggressively.
Video Games and Violence
While violent video games have not been studied as thoroughly as television, there are still some that support the idea that games can have an adverse affect on how children behave. Studies have shown that exposure to violent video games can have an affect on aggressive behavior and thinking.
There is so much that your child could be exposed to that could essentially cause them to act more aggressively than children who are not exposed. It is important to monitor what your children watch and play to ensure they understand the dangers of violence, consequences that come from it, and the difference between reality and fiction.