Violence In The Media Effects On Society
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Violence In The Media: Effects On Society Essay, Research Paper Violent behavior of individuals may be linked to media violence. There are a number of different ways that people can be influenced by media violence. Who will be affected, by what material, and in what way is difficult to determine. Media violence does not only include television and movies, but local news as well. There are ways to prevent media violence from corrupting one’s own behavior. It is the responsibility of the public to voice their opinions and speak out against television violence. There are several studies that prove that violence in the media has a direct influence on the behavior of those that are subjected to it. Gerbner and Gross found that violent acts occur on American television at a rate of five acts per prime-time hour and eighteen acts per weekend daytime hour. These statistics have not changed much since 1981 (Huesmann, Eron, and Legerspetz). There are a greater number of television programs available in Canada and the United States. Children can watch violence at almost any time of day if they wanted to. Many children act out or play games that they see on TV. An example of this is WWF Wrestling. Children see this type of violence and believe that it is an acceptable and fun thing to do. Children soon begin to act out towards other children as well as towards animals. They fight instead of play at recess. And if no one stops his or her erratic behavior it doesn’t take long before the media turns a good kid into a bad one. In 1985, the American Psychological Association (APA) took the official position that television violence can cause aggressive behavior (Zuckerman, 1996). They did this because of continuous behavioral effects demonstrated by patients that could be linked to film and television. What people were watching on TV was corrupting the way people looked at themselves. Many people were receiving treatment for negative feelings towards their bodies and their love lives. Patients were feeling that if their lives weren’t as great as the lives of the people on TV there must be something wrong with them. As well psychologists were seeing an increase in atrocious violent acts by patients. The same acts that had been portrayed in recent movies or television programs. Many people allow the media to influence their lives. It is not necessarily a bad thing if people use the media to better their lives. When violence is imitated it causes reason for concern. Many people are petitioning to have a stronger control over the context in which the violence is portrayed; the age of the viewer; and the participant’s ability to differentiate between fantasy and reality, and justified or unjustified use of force. A famous example of this in Canadian history is the petition set forth in November 1992 by then thirteen year old Virginie Lariviere. This was shortly after the rape and murder of her young sister. Virginie Larivi?re presented then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney with a 1.3-million-signature petition. Larivi?re was convinced that media violence had played a role in her sister’s death, and her petition demanded legislation to ban gratuitous violence on television (Vivian Maurin, 292). She decided something needed to be done when she was attending the funeral of her 11-year-old sister Marie-Eve Larivi?re. Marie-Eve had been robbed of $6, then raped and finally strangled. “I kept asking myself why anyone would want to do that to Marie-Eve, and it suddenly occurred to me that it might well be the result of all the violence that my sister and I used to watch on television.” Larivi?re thought there might be something wrong with her reaction, but she decided that something needed to be done. Eight months later, in mid-November, Virginie’s petition was in the office of the Prime Minister (www.media-awareness.ca, #2). Media violence can lead to aggressive behavior in children.