Television Influence Essay Research Paper Television influences

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Television Influence Essay, Research Paper Television influences behaviors, social attitudes and physical health especially in children. Children today spend more time watching television than on any other single leisure activity. In fact, studies have shown that "the average child spends more time in front of the television than in school" (Clarke and Kurte-Coastes, 1997). There are a variety of influences that children gain from watching too much television. The impact of violence on children is a major issue, as well as the impact of stereotypical views, such as sex roles. Health can also become a problem for children who spend excessive amounts of time in front of the television. There are, however, alternatives to these problems. Parent, schools and the

governments need to take control and monitor children and television. After all, television was once used as an educational tool it has only recently become a babysitter. The effect of violence in television has been debated for many years. In a recent study, Strasburger and Donnerstein (1999), suggests that there is a positive correlation between violence viewed on television and aggressive behavior in children. The way television violence is portrayed encourages children to learn aggressive attitudes and behaviors. For example most violence on television is glamorized by using a "good" character that is likely to be perceived as role model to initiate violence. This gives children the impression that violence is justified, desirable, and painless. Violence on

television also increases fear or gives children the wrong impression about the world. Many children have a hard time making distinctions about what is real and unreal. Therefore, they begin to believe that the television depicts violence in the "real world." The bottom line is, "children learn their attitudes about violence at a very young age, and once learned, the attitudes tend to be life-long" (Strasburger and Donnerstein, 1999). Television also encourages stereotyped opinions on topics such as sex roles. Research shows that children who spend more time watching television tend to think that both women and men have specified roles in the world (Kent and Moy, 1999). Television usually portrays women as passive and weak compared to men who are usually

depicted as strong and dominant (Steinberg and Kincheloe, 1997). This gives children a clear impression of what is expected of them in society. It insists that they too should act this way because it is, after all, what society views appropriate. Television even pushes children toward specific sex role using toys. Most toy commercials, for example, even insist that some toys are only for girls while others are only for boys. Children are very rarely encouraged to play with toys that are known to be for the opposite sex. For example, boys aren’t aloud to play with dolls and girls aren’t aloud to play with trucks. Television also emphasizes the importance of physical beauty. Stress is placed on looking a certain way, whether it is having the right clothing or being a certain

weight. These are influences that children take very seriously considering that most children want to be the "popular" one in school. Take the Mighty Morphine Power Rangers, for example, the female good rangers are viewed typically as beautiful and perfect. The female villains are typically viewed as "repulsive" and are teased. In most schools this is the " kind of schoolyard harassment to which unpopular girls are subjected" (Steinberg and Kincheloe, 1997). Television also takes a major toll on a child’s physical health. Obesity in children is rising and television is being credited in playing apart. One reason may be that children are spending less time on physical activities, such as, swimming and riding bikes (Vecchine, 1997). Evidence also