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Children and Media Violence

Kirsh (2006) reports that children are, on average, exposed to between 6 and 7 hours of media each day where media includes television, video, movies, video games, print, radio, computer, and Internet programs. While the exact amount of violence in these media are difficult to assess, Kirsh states that a significant proportion of the media present violence and violent images.

Moreover, a national study conducted by the University of California's Center for Communication and Social Policy (1998) that evaluated for the effects of 10,000 hours of broadcast programming, videos, and video games from 1995 through 1997 found that interpersonal violence was often portrayed in either an entertaining or glamorized manner. In addition, it was observed that the heroes in stories were often likely to use violence to resolve problems.

Findings such as those delineated above have led to speculation as to whether media violence does harm to children. The thesis of this paper is that media violence does do harm to children in several different ways. The next section of this paper presents the pertinent research in the area.

Research on the Effects of Media Violence on Children

According to Freedman (2002) it is not media violence itself that harms children but rather their prolonged exposure to it. When exposure is long enough, media violence will, Freedman states, harm children in a variety of ways. First, it will harm children by teaching them that violence is an appropriate means of solving and resolving problems. Second, Freedman (2002) reports that weapons and weaponry come to be associated in the child's mind with personal power.

One alarming concern that is discussed by Freedman (2002) is the fact that there is little understanding on the part of parents or the public in general of the lengthy exposure students have to media. The point is made that exposure is so substantial that the media often has greater power...

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Children and Media Violence. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 16:27, December 06, 2021, from