One of the factors that is
getting the blame for teen's violent behavior is the violence they watch
on television. There have been many studies looking into whether there is
a link between teens acting violent and watching violence on television.
- The average kid watches 4 hours of television
- By age 18 the average child has seen 16,000
simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence on TV.
- TV shows have an average of 40 acts of violence
- 40% of programs feature "Bad" characters who are never or rarely
Most studies just looked at the violent content of
TV, but the following study looked at the behavior of the children that
watched the show. In this study they took a survey of every 8 year old in
a typical American town in 1960. Later they took the same survey of the same
children in 1971, 1981 and 1994. The correlation between violence-viewing
at age 8 and how aggressive they were at 19 was higher then the correlation
between watching violence at age 8 and act aggressive at age 8.
Over the years TV has changed to reflect the times.
Media violence has increased in quantity and has become much more graphic,
sexual, and is more sadistic. Violence is sort of like the nicotine in cigarettes,
the media has to pump more violence into shows because people have built
up a tolerance. To get the same interest, they need ever higher levels of
violence to be entertained.
If a parent is worried about what their children are
watching on TV and wants to do something about it, there is a thing called
a V-Chip. The V-Chip is built into all TVs sold since January, 2000. It
is a system that allows parents to block violent programs so their children
can't watch them and act violent. The current V-Chip was developed by an
engineer named Tim Collings. The current v-chip system is rated by your age:
- TV-Y (acceptable for all ages)
- TV-7 (shows some violence and is not suitable for children under 7)
- TV-G (for all audiences)
- TV-PG (parental guidance suggested)
- TV-14 (not suitable for children under 14)
- TV-MA (for mature audiences only)