The History of Media Violence
The history of media violence began in the 1950s when TV began dominating and major networks sought a simple successful formula to increase their revenues. Now an average of 150 acts of violence and about 15 murders entertain us and our children every week, and that does
not count cartoons and news. ( Gerbner).
By the age of 18, the average American child has witnessed at least 40,000 killings and 200,00 acts of violence according to the research of TV-Turnoff Network research.
America’s children are being hurt. They are hurt when they are the victims or perpetrators of mindless violence, illustrated and glorified by the media. They are hurt when they have become so dependent on rapid-fire, prefabricated visual effects that they can no longer conjure up their own images or dream their own dreams. (Dudley 36)
It’s true that to some extent fictional violence can be useful in regaining the power and self esteem of a teenager. The positive effects occur when the media inform about violence in society and show the repercussions of a violent act, and thereby help in preventing crime. On the
other hand, the media violence overkill remains most problematic and detrimental to public health and needs drastic measures to change. Violence in the media does increase the risk of viewers behaving aggressively, however it is only one possible negative effect of many.
Without the proper care and support of parents, teenagers may turn into repressive, authoritarian adults and pass this aggressiveness and negativism onto the next generation. At first glance, immersing into a virtual violent world and enjoying the violent content of movies seem to be a shelter for many who feel insecure about themselves. Replaying some fictional violent patterns in their minds gives teenagers an opportunity to release some of their real-life fears and inform them about the mechanism of violence and justice.
However, the existing violence overkill on TV and the video game industry do not contribute to the development of their emotional and moral intelligence and do not build their self-esteem. In the absence of parental love and involvement, the media creates a subversive
reality that can only increase the level of aggressiveness in teenagers and their risk to adopt.