Effect of Media Violence on Youth Essay

  • Length: 6 pages
  • Subject: Children
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #58100672

Excerpt from Essay :

Media Violence on Youth

Damaging effects harm society's future adults

Young people have the opportunity to respond negatively if provided violent material

How Violent Print Media Affects Youth

"Tweens" and teens are among the most influential group to market to, and are on the search for their true identities

Magazines campaign for teenagers "to be cool"

Posters and advertisements display sexuality, thin bodies, and beautiful self-images

Famous clothing advertisers use adult sexuality to advertise to teenagers

Results are detrimental: Self-hatred, eating disorders, self-loathing

How Violent Movies Affect Youth

Educational and entertainment source turned to violence source

Easy to market violent and action movies more so than other genres

Desensitization of real life violence

Increased aggressive behavior and fear

How Violent Music Affects Youth

Often considered less problematic than other media sources; underestimated

Provides as an gateway to violence, drug abuse, early sexual activity, and alcohol abuse

4.3 Can be a way for teenagers to call for help if depressed

5.0 How Violent Video Games Affect Youth

5.1 Videogame sales statistics reach $18 billion in United States software sales

5.2 Provide teenagers with the opportunity for violence without consequence

5.3 May lead to less social contact and exercise

6.0 Conclusion

6.1 What sources have come to represent

The Effect of Media Violence on Youth

1.0 Proposal

As technology and society progresses, so does marketing. The damaging effects and large profits that businesses are trading for making moral decisions has come to damage future adults. All types of media have the opportunity to be violent and influence young adults. Though some may argue that the media is not influential or that parents must be involved in censorship, one fact is true: Teenagers experiencing violent media have the opportunity to respond negatively to the sources. To allow for the best future for the young people, adults and businesses must provide the best opportunities for them by toning violence down in media sources such as print, movies, music, and videogames.

1.1 Statistics of Juvenile Crime and Violence

Juvenile Proportion of Crimes in 1999

Represented in Percentage

(NCJRS.gov, 2001).

As shown in the graph above, the top crimes in 1999 that juveniles were arrested and cleared for included: Murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The amount juveniles arrested for violent crime topped 103,900, while property crime was at 541,500 juvenile arrests (NCJRS.gov, 2001). Among these, a dramatic thirty-two percent were under the age of fifteen.

Though murders have shown a dramatic decrease in the past two decades, the total of serious offense charges are estimated to be near 2.5 million, and the female proportion of juvenile arrests continues to grow (NCJRS.gov, 2001). Though media does not specifically teach youth to become a delinquent, the messages and images that today's youth are bombarded with is overwhelming. The continual growth in the ease to access of television, video games, magazines, and the internet allow young adults to become more susceptible to influence from these media devices.

2.0 How Violent Print Media Affects Youth

2.1 Magazines

Today's "tween" and "teen" age groups are among the top advertised in marketing history. This age group is easy to influence, as they are obtaining their own sense of style and non-child identities. Marketers understand the values of marketing to such a group, and have begun to target them. One of the biggest marketing campaign themes is "to be cool."

2.2 Posters and Advertisements

To be "cool," teens must have a particular attitude and image that displays sexuality, thin bodies, and beautiful self-images. Many teens are looking at print advertisements from Abercrombie and Fitch, Guess, and Calvin Klein, which model adult sexuality but target teen dress styles. The results have been detrimental, including self-hatred, eating disorders, and self-loathing (Media-Awareness.ca, 2010).

2.3 Comic Books

It appears that extremely violent comic books are also a culprit to teenagers' introduction and demonstration of violent behavior. During one study, when teenagers were provided with the opportunity to read extremely violent comic books, it was found that both female and male subjects responded more aggressive to hypothetical stories with issues to resolve. The male subjects were more likely to negatively respond to overt scenarios, while female subjects were more likely to respond negatively to relationship scenarios (Kirsh & Olczak, 2002).

3.0 How Violent Movies Affect Youth

From childhood, people have always enjoyed watching movies. As children age, they are purposely or accidentally introduced to more violent movies and television, which may negatively affect them. What once could be considered a source to be used for education and entertainment purposes may now lead to a child having problematic issues.

When a child is introduced to violent films before they are fully developed, there is a high chance they will have "residual anxiety" into their adulthood (Media-Awareness.ca, 2010). Action and violence films are far easier to market than romantic, drama, or comedy films, as the filmmakers have many visually appealing clips they may use for the film's commercial advertisements. Even though the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has made it more difficult for young people to view violent films in theatres, parents are still misinterpreting the FTC movie ratings and allowing their children to watch them. Children who were not allowed to see violent films have a higher risk of sneaking into the theatres to view them (Media-Awareness.ca, 2010).

When a young person watches a violent movie, it allows them to desensitize real-life violence they may have seen on screen. This gives the adolescent the susceptibility to increasing aggravated behaviors in their future adulthood (Media-Awareness.ca, 2010).

4.0 How Violent Music Affects Youth

Children and adults alike use music as therapy, relaxation devices, among other healthy uses. When music with violent lyrics is provided to influential young adults, the result can also be violent.

Music is not often a media source that parents are most concerned about, as they do not provide a tangible visual for the teenager. However, the type of music a teenager listens to can influence violent behavior or be a cry of help to an underlying issue.

Contemporary music provides teenagers with the opportunity to learn about sexual activities, drugs, alcohol, and gender stereotyping. As a song becomes more mainstream, the adolescent may enjoy the tune without comprehending the lyrics' severity, and then act upon the lyrics through early sexual activity, drug abuse, or alcohol consumption without properly analyzing what they are actually doing (Media-Awareness.ca, 2010).

When a teenager listens to more self-loathing or self-violence music, it may be a cry for help. With this style of music, some teenagers have been known to alienate themselves, have substance abuse, psychiatric disorders, or an increase in violence (Media-Awareness.ca, 2010). In a handful of serious cases, some artists, including alternative rock group Blink 182 and rapper Eminem, have been blamed for successful suicide attempts among depressed teenagers.

5.0 How Violent Video Games Affect Youth

Considerably, videogames have been blamed for many over-aggressive actions and lack of empathy in youth (Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 2010). In 2007 alone, the videogame industry saw sales of nearly $18 billion in software alone in the United States (Media-Awareness.ca, 2010). A 2008 study by the MacArthur Foundation found that gaming was so common among young adults that roughly ninety percent of those interviewed admitted to playing videogames at least occasionally, many of which were able to play "Mature" rated games (Media-Awareness.ca, 2010). However, giving young people the opportunity to virtually make violent decisions without consequences does not come without risk.

Videogames not only allow young adults to be violent, but it provides great opportunities for social isolation, excessive playing, and poor exercise habits. Even videogames with little or no violence may be providing the young with the wrong messages. Many characters in videogames are sexually attractive and in roles of high status. This gives…

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