The impacts of media violence for years now have been a hot topic of debate. There have been debates on media violence where some argue that it has no consequences while others believe that it has long lasting harmful impact on people especially children globally. Various forms of entertainment such as video games and movies have been looked upon, and all these forms of entertainment have an influence on people generally and more effects to children. Violence is observed in various forms such as video games,cartoons and music videos in films and television. Mass media portrays to the society that violence is something normal and fascinating and common in the society and it is outwardly honoured, eminent and glorified in mass media (Signorielli 30). This paper is a discussion of whether media violence influences people's violent and aggressive behavior
The industry themselves represent media violence. According to the Media Violence Labelling Act of 2000 all movies, film products and video games are required to have a uniform labelling system. All violent media products including advertisements are required to have warning labels. Studies have confirmed that witnessing violence in news coverage promotes derivative or imitator behaviour. Over the years there have been information regarding people who imitate illusive violence and irrespective of the regularity of these allegations of contamination of violence little research have been done on how aggressive events effects behaviour. There have been concerns of music videos and lyrics because sometimes these videos contain violence. Research have also shown concern of music videos and their lyrics because these video sometimes replete with violence. Adolescents watch rebellious overtones and music videos with aggressive content.However, there has been a perceptive that exposure to violent media and aggressive behaviour in people have no causation or link (Arvidsorn 22).
In his article In the Defence of Violence Hinson highlights in this emerging opinion that other than gratification and catharsis, media violence cannot cause any harm if the morality of the addressees is not corrupted. According to the article by Anderson The Power of Media Violence on Youth on the other hand, argue that people especially children have violent and aggressive behaviours caused by violent media. In addition, Hinson believes that violence in art is completely dissimilar from real life violence and that the Ancient Greeks believed that real life violence is vicious and that media violence provides an opportunity for catharsis as he supports this facts (Hinson 28). Furthermore, researchers have observed that children are more aggressive after watching violent TV shows. It is because children are not able to distinguish between right and wrong because their minds are not yet fully developed.
Most children tend to believe and imitate everything they see on TV and do violent acts of celebrities they idolize. In 1963, laboratory experiments were done by Professor S.A Ross, D.Ross and A. Badura consistently proved that exposure to violence caused increased respiration rate, blood pressure, and increased heart beat which motivates children to act aggressively and violently. Desensitization is the direct attribution that produces aggressive behaviour from media violence. Desensitization suggests that children exposed to a lot of violence are more willing to accept the increased levels of violence in the society since they are less sensitive to pain and suffering of others. A study carried out in1973 by Cline; Crofty and Courrier showed that children exposed to media violence tend to be less bothered when they witness violence in the real world and are less sympathetic to victims.
Media violence cause children to believe their community is unsafe, and overestimate their risk of being victimized by uncertainty and assumptions of increase in crime rate even when it is not. However, studies show that watching television does not result in fear to viewers. In fact, it causes them to be happier and more optimistic about life. It may be true to some but according to a report drafted by Anderson, showed that incidences of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and psychological trauma increase in proportion to the increased number of television watching hours each day. When people are exposed to violence in media some incidences or stimulus prompt concepts in a person's memory sometimes even without them knowing. A complex association linked to aggressive ideas, emotions or opinions may be triggered by exposure to violent scenes. Moreover, empirically priming effects related to aggression have established indications associated with violence (Anderson 19).
Research conducted on media violence arrived at a conclusion that people's aggressive and violent behavior does not emerge due to exposure to media violence but rather this conduct is encoded in people since birth. Third variables such as exposure to domestic violence and personality are the determinants of people's aggression and violence and not media violence. Studies also suggest that individuals who intentionally seek media violence are more prone to aggressive and violent actions, therefore, increasing their exposure to media violence compared to people who are non-aggressive. Lastly, researchers argue that engaging in forms of media violence such as watching violent dramas, and playing violent video games help people relieve themselves of aggressive feeling and causes them to have emotionally stable states (Signorielli 16).
The rating systems of media violence are another issue which over the years is becoming a controversial issue. Through research, it has been proved that R-rated films make less as compared to PG-13 movies. Institutions involved in rating shows are rating shows PG-13 that would have one point been rated R to enhance increment in sales and maximise profit. Hinson acknowledges that eighty-two percent of Americans believe that the constant success of R-rated films in the industry today contradicts this statistics. He argues that people like violence in art, although deplore violence in real life and it is the reason why violent movies make money. It is yet to be proved that media violence eventually causes people to commit violent acts of their own, and hence, the subject of violence in media has become a touchy topic and exceedingly controversial.
Arvidson highlights that instinctively most people know that violence in media is not the exact cause of violence in the society and is more complicated thus becoming an issue of concern (Arvidsorn 25).Determining what causes violent tendency in people is difficult and defining whether violence in the media precipitates more violence in the society cannot be explained clearly. Arvidson explains that the questions of media aggression to children contradict each other and which none is accurate. Additionally, she demonstrates in her report that there are more methods and answers to this issue.
In conclusion, although media violence may not be clearly associated to people violent behaviour in the society, it continues to play some part. We should ensure that our community does not become polluted with violence and failure over time. Violence in real-life is contributed by various forms of media violence including aggression in movies, newspapers, television, and other forms. The way to do this is to let children discover and show them what is right from wrong rather than controlling the violence observed in the media since it can create more problems. To conclude, violence is realism that should not be ignored and in the case of violence in the media industry, ignorance is not acceptable. Information is essential and with this knowledge of the effects of media aggression, it is important to create awareness on the impacts of violence.
Anderson, D. R., Huston, A. C., Schmitt, K. L., Linebarger, D. L., & Wright, J. C. IV.
Academic Achievement. Monographs Of The Society For Research In Child Development, 2001.Print.
Arvidsorn, Cheryl. "Statement Linking Media Violence to Violence in Kids Draws----------- Criticism." The Well-Crafted Argument: A Guide and Reader. Eds. Fred D. ----------- White and Simone J. Billings. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002.Print.
Hinson, H.. In defense of violence: Why movie murder and mayhem may not be so bad. In P. Keough (Ed.), Flesh and Blood: The national society of film critics on sex, violence and censorship.2006.Print.
Signorielli, Nancy. Violence in the Media: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2005. Print.
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