Violence has been a continuous phenomenon in the history of the human race, but today it has grown out of all proportions and is very serious consequences upon society. Although instruments of violence are easily available such as guns etc. but contemporary children are increasingly incited to violent acts due to the influence of the electronic media on their very impressionable minds. While the cause of violence are multi-factorial and might include many variables like poverty, family psychopathology, child abuse, witnessing family and community violence, substance abuse and many psychiatric disorders, research literature is overwhelmingly compelling that children’s exposure to media is the single most cause of violence among children and young adults.
Although it cannot be conclusively determined which children are at the greatest risk, evidence supports a very strong relationship between media violence and aggressive behaviour between children. This paper studies the influence of media upon children and some ways that children can be helped to curb violent tendencies despite their continued exposure to media During the last 3 decades, the relationship between violence on television and violent behaviour among youth has been extensively researched and longitudinal, cross-sectional and experimental studies have all firmly established this relationship. Showing violent movies on television has registered a steady and continuous increase over the years.
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Today every house has one or more televisions and more than 50% children have televisions in their bedrooms apart from the other sets in the house. This enables children to watch programs without parental supervision. Children spend more time in front of the TV than they spend in schools or any other activities Parents encourage children to watch cartoons, but even in these programs, the violent act averages up to twenty-five acts per hours. In any cartoon program is that the animated characters are repeatedly smashed, stabbed, run over and pushed off high cliffs but they bounce back from all this and continue the stabbing etc.
Animated cartoon characters do not remain dead for long and the portrayal of death as temporary and the characters as everlasting which gives a very wrong impression of children about death and violence. This poses risks for child viewers who view violence as just acts of aggression and do not consider them as threats. The characters that are perpetrating these violent acts are portrayed as attractive heroes and not as villains, who are mostly males who commit these violent acts out of anger, for personal gains. However, the damaging part is that these violent acts do not have consequences, i.e. that they do not show any pain or physical or mental suffering by the victims or the perpetrators.
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