Affects Of Voilent Media Essay Research Paper

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Affects Of Voilent Media Essay, Research Paper Recently there has been a dramatic rise in violence among America s teenagers. The easy explanation is that adolescents are scripting their behavior after popular music, television programs and movies that depict graphic violence, and explicit scenes of gore. Numerous years of social science research has studied the relationship between exposure to media violence and adolescent violence (Sege, 1998, p. 129). Although the size of the effect is still in question, the correlation between the two is now no longer a controversial issue. Many quick to assess blame credit the amount of violence seen on television and heard in music with the recent upswing of juvenile crime. Those critics feel that media should be accountable for their

program content. Though such people easily cast blame, legal precedent states that the artist or producer cannot be held culpable for what actions come as a subsequent result of their productions. Crime statistics have clearly become a paramount concern to the U.S. public during the last decade. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, in 1990, 56% of the adult population personally feared becoming a victim of a violent crime (Huesmann, L. R., Moise, J. F., Podolski, C. L.,1997, p.181). The increase of violence in America s youth is undeniable. An alarming number of malicious crimes are taking place in our country today. The statistics are rising, and a solution is nowhere in sight. Recently the American Medical Association handed the nation a D on its annual Report Card on

violence. Despite increased public awareness and commitment to change, AMA President Lonnie Bristow, M.D. commented, The country is still struggling to control its number one public health crisis (AMA Release, 1996, p.1). Violent crimes reported to law enforcement officials during 1995 tallied 1.8 million offenses. In 1998, law enforcement agencies arrested 2.6 million offenders under the age of 18. Youth under 18 made up 18% of all arrests made in 1998. It is a well-known fact that crime rates peak in late adolescents. The alarming statistic is that the homicide rate by those 18 to 24 years old has spiked since 1985. Since the mid-1980s, the number and rate of murders among 15 to 17 years olds has escalated faster than any other age bracket (AMA Release, p.2). Reports anticipate

soaring criminal activities over the next decade, as youngsters today become tomorrow s adolescents in numbers greater than we as a society have seen in a generation. These facts speak for themselves. Both experts and the public alike are desperately searching for causes and solutions to this swelling epidemic. With the growing amount of violent crimes being committed, people look for reasons to attribute and blame. Virtual violence , violence that is not physically experienced, but which carries a lasting psychosocial effect on the individual, (AMA Release, p.3) has recently been singled out as a cause of this violent trend. Due to the explicit nature of the programming that is rampant in television, music, film, video games, and computers, experts have taken aim and fired a

shot in the battle over media responsibility. Of course the occurrence of increases of violent behavior and violence in the media suggests a relationship between the two. This theory of and by itself is hardly evidence. Over the last four decades, however, a large volume of scientific evidence on the correlation between media violence and violent behavior overwhelmingly illustrates that this exposure does indeed lead to the developmental roots of violent behavior. According to psychological research there are three major effects of virtual violence: children may become less sensitive to the pain of others, they may also hold more contempt for the world around them, and they may begin to behave aggressively towards others (APA Children and Television Violence, p.1). In a soon to