Media and ViolenceTerm Paper

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Media and Violence

Contradicting Causes

Is television alone responsible for 10% of youth violence? (Statistics, 2005) Does society need to "shoot" or annihilate the messengers who bring literal and "real-life" acts of violence and bad news? Is media only a mere messenger or, as Cooley (1985 (1996) purports: Bold in depicting violence timid in morals? Does violence depicted in music, video games, movies, magazines, and on TV cause or trigger "real-life" violence? These questions, alongside other concerns related to media and violence are explored in this paper. Regarding the charge that the media instigates violence, the Media Coalition repeatedly argues, "No." ("Shooting the Messenger...," 2000) This organization stresses that current charges that the media incites violence are myths that have transpired for more than 90 years. The accusation that the film and publishing industries were creating a generation sophisticated in sin, was published in an essay in a 1914 issue of the Atlantic, claimed. Novels (half-dime) were labeled as: "traps for the young," the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice claimed. ("Shooting the Messenger...," 2000) in regard to the other questions being considered in this research effort, not all will merit concrete answers, as numerous components factor into the equation of the media/violence controversy. Violence, no matter the root, Primavera (1998) stresses, constitutes a critical problem and leaves individuals feeling timorous, afraid, bewildered and confused. As violence affects more individuals in their own neighborhoods, many wonder who will be the next victim. Some parents question if their children will survive to adulthood. "When violent crimes hit the headlines, people want to lash out at something, anything, and assign blame," David Horowitz, Executive Director of the Media Coalition states. "The media is too often that something, even though, as our report found, there is no causal link between the violent content in the media and real violence." ("Shooting the Messenger..., " 2000)

The Social Science: Studies Don't Support the Conclusion that Media Cause Real-Life Violence: Argues that, at its best, evidence supporting media's link to violence is inconclusive; stresses that research linking media with violent content to children displaying more aggression proves contradictory. How Not to Stop Violence: Contends that censoring and/or content regulation are not effective ways to prevent violence.

The Real Causes of Violence and Crime: Reviews the multiplicity of interrelated social, cultural, familial and cognitive factors that can lead to violence, including family dysfunction, poverty, genetics, and failure to communicate.

How to Help Kids be Smart Media Consumers:

Stresses that parents are the ones who need to teach their children to critically view media; to help them so they understand messages in what they view and/or read, as well as how to best apply media messages to their value systems. ("Shooting the Messenger..., " 2000)

II. Real Life Slices

SECOND TEEN CHARGED in MURDER-for-HIRE CASE teen authorities say was hired as a hit man to kill another boy's father was arrested Monday.

The 16-year-old boy was booked into the Caddo Juvenile Detention Center on one count each of attempted first-degree murder and attempted aggravated burglary, Caddo sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Chadwick said. Detectives determined his identity over the weekend.

Investigators say he took $5 as payment from another 16-year-old boy who wanted him to kill his father. That boy, who was arrested Wednesday on a charge of solicitation for murder, was not getting along with his dad and did not want to follow family rules.

The boy authorities say was the hired killer showed up at the father's Shreveport home this past week with a gun, Chadwick said. Detectives say he threatened the father's girlfriend with the gun when she answered the door. She slammed it and the gunman apparently fled.

The son admitted to his parents that he hired the other boy, Chadwick said.

The sheriff's office will let the Caddo district attorney's office determine whether to charge either of the boys as adults, Chadwick (Causey, 2007)

For three consecutive years, in regard to determining the prevalence of media violence, the Television Violence Monitoring Project examined the numbers of violent incidents on American television, as well as "contextual variables that may make it more likely for aggression and violence to be accepted, learned, and imitated." (Media Violence..., 2005). Results revealed:

Media Violence Facts and Statistics

61% of television programs contain some violence, and only 4% of television programs with violent content feature an "antiviolence" theme.

44% of the violent interactions on television involve perpetrators who have some attractive qualities worthy of emulation.

43% of violent scenes involve humor either directed at the violence or used by characters involved with violence.

Nearly 75% of violent scenes on television feature no immediate punishment for or condemnation of violence.

40% of programs feature "bad" characters who are never or rarely punished for their aggressive actions. (Media Violence...,2005)

According to the Television Violence Monitoring Project's report, numerous TV programs do not depict violence to be followed by harmful consequences. In violent behavioral interactions depicted on TV, 58% did not reflect pain; 47% did not note any harm; 40% reflected harm in unrealistic manners. In violent TV scenes, 86% did not show blood or gore. Just 16% of violent programs reveal any realistic, long-term, consequences of violence. (Media Violence...,2005) the Television Violence Monitoring Project's report indicates, contrary to the Media Coalition, that a relationship does exist between exposure to violent TV programs and movies and aggressive behavior. Children become more verbally and physically and aggressive, numerous researchers conclude, right after they view violent TV programs and movies.. Aggressive children and teens, this study project also notes, view more violent TV programs than their less aggressive peers. Although this study admits more research is needed in some areas, several studies, this study purports, relate childhood exposure to TV and movie violence to increased aggression in adult years later. (Media Violence...,2005) in regard to violent music videos and aggressive behavior, only a few researchers have explored impact of music videos with violent or antisocial themes. Researchers have, albeit, determined that "exposure to violent or antisocial rap videos can increase aggressive thinking." Currently, no research confirms that exposure directly affects violence and/or physical aggression.(Media Violence...,2005) Violence in video games, according to one recent survey of families with school-age children indicates that "74% of families with school-age children own video game equipment, and school-age children play video games an average of 53 minutes per day." (Media

Violence...,2005) Parents, however, generally supervise their children's and teens' playing video games less than their TV viewing, with 88% of parents reporting regularly supervising TV viewing; while approximately half this number, 48%, routinely supervisee children's and teen's playing video games. Even though video games' impact on violent behavior is not yet specifically determined, the widespread use of violent games causes concern for researchers.

According to 2001 review of the 70 best-selling video games, 89% included violent scenarios/content. In many video games, as violence is presented as necessary for the protagonist's success, 40% contained comic violence; 49% included serious violence. Violence is noted to be the primary focus for 17% of the games. Nevertheless, the number of studies exploring violent video games' impact aggression is minute, with none examining serious violence or being longitudinal. One recent meta-analysis of completed studies concludes exposure to violent video games presents only a diminutive (relative) " effect on physical aggression and a moderate effect on aggressive thinking." (Media Violence...,2005) Primavera (1998) notes the FBI statistics of juvenile arrests (office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Justice Department) reports U.S. prisons are being fill with younger and more violent criminals. This report states that during 1991, 17% of all violent crime arrests, as well as "three of every ten juvenile murder arrests involved a victim under the age of 18."(Primavera, 1998) www.whitehouse.gov/goodbye/83a30b5723ce1452fc1c23a104e1a6bf58753eec.html"

CHART: Violent Crime Measures

Violent Crime Measures

Serious violent crime levels declined since 1993 as measured by the National Crime Victimization Survey.

2004 NCVS in millions)

Current

2005 NCVS in millions)

Provided by Bureau of Justice Statistics /

Federal Bureau of Investigation as of September 10, 2006. www.whitehouse.gov/goodbye/5f3293914a9f3615c1c4b73df3afa3d141e8d286.html"

CHART: Homicide Rates by Age

Homicide Rates by Age

The Uniform Crime Reports overall homicide rate remained stable in recent years.

A rate per 100,000)

Current rate per 100,000)

Provided by Federal Bureau of Investigation as of October 17, 2005. www.whitehouse.gov/goodbye/d443e44dd2a2deb109a70155d02d7ca7ecb67047.html"

CHART: Violent Crime Rates by Gender

Violent Crime Rates by Gender of Victim

Violent crime rates declined after 1994 for both males and females as measured by the National Crime Victimization Survey.

A rate per 1,000 persons 12 and older)

Current rate per 1,000 persons 12 and older)

Provided by Bureau of Justice Statistics as of September 10, 2006. www.whitehouse.gov/goodbye/e6968bb6e62fa3564b904babce9c2cbe13cef7f4.html"

CHART: Property Crime Rates

Property Crime Rates

Property crimes continued to decline as measured by the National Crime Victimization Survey.

A rate per 1,000 households)

Current rate per 1,000 households)

Provided by Bureau of Justice Statistics as of September 10, 2006. www.whitehouse.gov/goodbye/e94d9cf9153aa810acb2c6b807cd8bf6c0ad0c55.html"

CHART: Arrests for Drug Abuse Violations

Arrests for Drug Abuse Violations

The estimated number of arrests for drug abuse violations for adults… [END OF PREVIEW]

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