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Essay about violence and violent behavior in the Media

ttc1234 4 / 6  
May 13, 2009   #1
Essay is about Links between violence in the media and violent behavior

its almost done, i just have one more paragraph and a conclusion...can you help me with my grammer and my thesis (its bolded). Also can you let me know its organized and flows


At a young age, children's minds are sponge-like, absorbing everything that surrounds them, which makes them easy targets in terms of manipulation and victimized by the medias constant influence. By the time of adulthood, individuals are already under the influence of the mass media. Society appears to have a subconscious fixation with the mass media, resulting in individuals becoming desensitized to violence and to be detrimental effected. Psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists all obtain different beliefs to provide reasons to why violence continues to be a predominant factor in today's culture. The media promotes violence, and can be blamed for awarding violent behaviour like in the cases of Columbine and Virginia Tec, who both received tons of exposure. Violence is a primary component of several individuals lives, especially in the youth culture, as many turn to the media for a sense of direction, resulting in them resembling the images they view, shaping their behaviours.

Desensitization is a psychological development that has frequently been implicated in explaining viewers' unemotional reactions to the medias constant portrayal of violence (cite). Societies continuous exposure to the medias violence results in desensitization, which causes undermine feelings of concern, compassion, or empathy that individuals may end up having toward victims of actual violent acts (cite).The average child between the ages of eight to eighteen spends approximately forty-four point five hours weekly watching television, resulting in them transforming to remote-controlled mechanisms, being gradually brainwashed by misleading representations (cite). The Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that "the introduction of television in the 1950's caused a subsequent doubling of the homicide rate, i.e., long-term childhood exposure to television is a causal factor behind approximately one half of the homicides committed in the United States, or approximately 10,000 homicides annually " (cite). The article continued to acknowledge that if television technology was never developed, there would be 10,000 fewer homicides annually in The United States. It also persists to state there would be 70,000 fewer rapes, and 700,000 fewer injurious actions (cite).

The media doesn't force violence on children, but it sets a standard for what may be considered ordinary and tolerable in our society (Huesmann, 2004). In the media, violence appears to be something natural. Individuals can witness acts of violence in cartoons, sports, and sitcoms, making them question if violence is a normal factor in the general public (Huesmann, 2004). On Feb 28, 2009, pop sensation Chris Brown was allegedly convicted for the beating of Rihanna. However, nearly half of Boston-area teenagers say Rihanna was responsible for pop star Chris Brown's alleged Grammy night attack that landed her in the hospital (). The survey of 200 Boston youths age 12 to 19 found that 51% said Brown bore responsibility, 46% said Rihanna was responsible, and 52% said both were to blame for the incident (). It appears that the youth within our society have been taught that violence is an acceptable and appropriate response to a domestic disagreement (). The media is glorifying violence, for if Chris Brown is not held responsible for his actions, children with not see violence as utterly unacceptable, but as an suitable practice, due to them being desensitized by the violence displayed by the media.

Research has established that viewers who consume large amounts of media violence demonstrate less physiological reactivity to violent behaviour in other contexts (cite). Men and women who are exposed to sexual acts of violence in the media, also demonstrate less condolence toward individuals who are rape victims portrayed in other contexts (cite). Exposure to violence in the mass media results in desensitization and affects individuals mentally, causing them to believe that violence is a normal act in society, giving violent individuals power, and subduing victims of violence (cite).

Psychologists have discovered that high exposure of violent video games can be linked to delinquency, fighting at school and during free play periods, and brutal criminal actions (Anderson, C.A., & Bushman, B.J. 2007). The majority of parents believe that violent childish cartoons will not result in their children becoming aggressive. However a study conducted with college students demonstrated that fantasy like cartoons have a strong effect on young adolescents minds. A current study established major increases in violent behaviour by college students subsequent to playing E-rated (suitable for everyone) violent video games (Anderson, C.A., & Bushman, B.J. 2007). Its been proven by psychologists that violence is something that is learned and taught. According to a report conducted by the APA Commission on Violence and Youth in 1994 known as Reason to Hope, it becomes predictable by the age of eight whether a child will end up displaying aggressive behaviour in school, and how aggressive the child will be during their adolescence? The report also sheds light on how he or she may act during their adulthood---if they are likely to engage in criminal or violent activity (APA, 1996). Statistics demonstrate "juveniles between the ages of 12 and 17 are more likely to experience violence than any other age group except young adults age 18-24" (APA.1996). It is believed that a generation in America is at risk, due to the increasing rate of young individuals engaging in violence.

According to a sociological analysis, video games might not be the only reason as to why adolescents portray violent behaviours. In the winter issue of the American Sociological Association's Contexts magazine, sociologist Karen Sternheimer opposes the psychologists' views on violent video games. Sternehimer suggests that by placing all the blame on violent video games society pardons the child's environment, which may be the key element causing this child to display aggressive actions. She argues we must take poverty, instability, family violence, unemployment, and mental illnesses into consideration when studying adolescent violence (Sinha 2007). Sternehimer believes that by placing the blame on video games, it gives criminals excuses, exemplified by individuals who are raised in "good" environments that portray violent actions, and are frequently unpretentiously categorized in the media and by politicians to be "harbingers of a 'new breed' of youth, influenced by video games rather than by their social conditions (Sinha, 2007). Video games sales have been said to increase in the past recent years. However, juvenile homicide arrest rates fell 77 percent, which leaves Sternehimer to believe violent video games are not to be blamed for the youth's crime rate, but their social circumstances should be examined (Sinha, 2007).

Anthropologists took a different approach when examining this issue. According to anthropologist David Keller, violence is connected to culture, and the upbringing of the child. The influence pop culture and the mass media has over younger generations may manipulate their young minds to be persuaded into employing themselves in violence behaviours (Rothenbuhler, Coman 2008). Anthropologists strictly observe the elements of youth culture and cultural development to gain an understanding regarding how civilization affects adolescents in terms of violence (Rothenbuhler, Coman 2008).

Psychologists, Sociologists and Anthropologists provided three different findings as to why young adolescents act out violent behaviours. Even though the media and video games should be taken into consideration for reflecting the violence within the young generation, society must also focus on the child's upbringing, environment, and parenting as well, which also may have a strong influence on the child's actions. Each discipline took a different approach examining the affect violence obtains over our society. While, sociologists blame it on an individual's social surrounds, and anthropologists blame it particularly on cultural influences. It appears Psychologists have an accurate understanding, considering many individuals who are influenced by violence, are mentally desensitized and influenced to engage in aggressive behaviours.

On April 20th 1999, North America became awakened by The Columbine High School massacre that demonstrated even schools were no longer a completely safe environment for younger children. Two students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, embarked on a rampage killing twelve students and a teacher. Twenty-one others were injured, three while attempting to escape. This event raised debates regarding the usage of aggressive video games, destructive music, and violent films (Goldberg, 1999). A similar act occurred in 2007 when Cho Seung Hui murdered 33 individuals at Virginia Tech, including himself, in the nation's deadliest mass shooting (Kass, 2007). Jerald Block, an American psychiatrist uses the fact that Klebold and Harris immersed themselves in video games like Doom, a violent video game that desensitized them. It was said that when both young men played this game they appeared engaged and satisfied (Hartford Courant, 1999). Pundit Jack Thompson has also blamed shooter Cho Seung Hui's actions on violent computer games such as Counterstrike (Gilbert, 2007). However the mass media is also being held accountable for glorifying these situations, giving publicity to the killers (Kass, 2007).

Millions of youths and adults engage in violent computer games and video games, without being encouraged to go on mass-killing rampages (Kass 2007). The Columbine killers demonstrated that one could develop into an immediate superstar by performing a heinously brutal act. Subsequent to their crime, the media saturated North America with the killers' names, glorifying them for eternity (Gilbert 2007). NBC News repeatedly played a videotape of Cho Seung Hui discusses his plans, which he evidently proved Hui was seeking fame, which was given to him by the media (Gilbert 2007). Professor Brain Bernstein supposes if killers believed they would die anonymously, not being acknowledged, receiving no post-mortem attention for their monstrous actions, it would diminish a major element of the motive for these acts (Kass 2007).

There appears to be a copycat effect aided by the media (Kass, 2007). If video games are held responsible for the detrimental state of mind of the killers involved in the Colombine and Virgin Tec massacres, then what inspired Charles Whitman? A US Marine who performed his shootings in 1966 (taking the lives of), when the first video game was still being completed (Gilbert 2007). The morally wrong choice to execute a catastrophic act is motivated by other aspects than a video game (Kass, 2007). The media continuously gives exposure to the killers, rather than the victims, making the killers utterly famous. Jeffery Doomer, an American serial killer, was acknowledged back in 1993 by the media as being one of the most famous individuals during that year (Gilbert 2007). Osama bin Laden rose to fame after the tragic incident on September 11th 2001 that took the lives of over two thousand individuals (Gilbert, 2007). It's the obvious that these horrible tragedies result in the glorification of the killer, rather than mourning about the victims, and families who have lost a loved one, for the media encourages violence, instead of peace.

The medias portrayal of violence has resulted in many individuals becoming fixated on violent productions, causing them to believe violence is a key factor within our society. Humanity is gradually accepting violence, due to the mess media desensitizing viewers, who are detrimental effected, but the negative imagery. Psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists all attain dissimilar viewpoints and objectives to why violence persists on being a major aspect in today's civilization. In several contexts, the media can be held accountable for glorifying violent behaviour demonstrated by the cases of Columbine and Virginia Tec, who both received a lot of publicity. If the media continues to use violence as a major element in cartoons, films, music and sitcoms, violence will continue to increase. More research should be done to understand this issue such as:

ˇ If violent videos games, and films, have a greater effect on individuals to be persuaded to engaged in violent behaviours or if their social surroundings have a stronger effect on them?

ˇ Any coalition between video games and violent crimes.
ˇ Look specifically at gun violence and random acts of violence, and what persuaded these individuals to engage in criminal activity.
ˇ Conduct a survey to see what levels of violence are believed to be appropriate. This should be done by surveying a child who grew up without a television, to observe if they are violent, and to understand their beliefs (what is and not acceptable in terms of violence), regarding violence compared to the actions and beliefs of a child was raised on television

The medias portrayal of violence appears to be an alarming issue in North America. Possible solutions to reducing the increasing rate of violence are:
ˇ Trying to eliminate violence, by using censorship in films, television shows, and music.
ˇ By not repaying incidents in the media. The reason for this is when a station repeatedly broadcasts a violent incident; it may encourage other individuals with a similar objective to engage in their crimes. To witness someone who committed a crime and received great exposure makes others who have the same motives and state of mind to become inspired for fame. The media should reduce the exposure, just by stating the basic details.

. Encouragement of parental involved, and increasing ratings on certain programs, such as cartoons where violence is depicted for small children to view. Ratings should go from G to PG.

Violence is a crucial constituent of numerous individuals' lives. In the youth culture it's a major factor that is resulting in an increase rate of criminal activity since society is manipulated by the imagery they are viewing, resulting in them mimicking the portrayals displayed by the media.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
May 13, 2009   #2
You write very well, with good rhythm. We can make little improvements, like "number agreement" here: At a young age, children 's minds are sponge-like, absorbing everything that surrounds them, which makes them easy targets for manipulation and becoming victimization by the media's constant influence .

Maybe you meant to write "unemotional" here:
Desensitization is a psychological development that has frequently been implicated in explaining viewers' unemotional...

According to anthropology, violence is connected to culture, and the upbringing of the child. (instead, say, "According to [name of anthropologist], [say something specific about research findings])

I also think it would be good to add another sentence to that conclusion paragraph. What do you make of the three different views? Consider the implications in that last paragraph.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
May 14, 2009   #3
I notice you seem to use a lot of paraphrasing in your essay, with few direct quotations. Some direct quotations might be a good idea though, especially when it comes to citing the studies you mentioned. That way, you could analyze the studies a bit more to determine how valid they are likely to be. Correlation and causation are not the same things, so you will have to check the methodology the studies used to determine if they really make sense. For instance, you say that one study concludes that

the introduction of television in the 1950's caused a subsequent doubling of the homicide rate

How long of a time elapsed between the introduction of television and the doubling of the homicide rate? Has this occurred in all countries where television has been introduced or only in America? What other social factors were in play at the same time? And so on. The answers to these questions may increase or decrease your confidence in the study's conclusions, but you do need to deal with them.

Apart from that, you have a thoughtful, well-written essay. Good job.

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