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At a tender age, children’s minds are usually sponge-like absorbing almost everything surrounding them which makes them easy targets of victimization and manipulation by the media influence. By adulthood, the majority of people are already under the influence and spell of mass media. The society seems to have a subconscious fascination with the mass media, which results in people becoming desensitized to violence and susceptible to other detrimental effects. Sociologists and psychologists try to get information on why violence remains rampant in the society. The media can be blamed since they promote violence resulting in violent behaviors among individuals. Violence is a major component of people’s lives, especially the young ones since they turn to the media to seek a sense of direction (Grohol, 2008). This results into resembling of the images they watch, which, in turn, shapes their behavior.
A society’s continuous exposure to violence in the media results in desensitization, which causes undermining of such feelings as empathy, compassion, and concern and leads to the development of actual violent acts. According to a recent research, an average child of the age between 8 and 18 spends approximately 44.5 hours per week watching televisions, which results in the transformation into remote-controlled mechanisms leading to brainwashing due to misleading misrepresentation (Huessman and Taylor, 2006). A journal by the American medical association gave a conclusion that the invention of TVs in the 1950s resulted in doubling of the homicide rate. According to the article, long-term childhood contact with the television is an underlying factor behind an approximate of 10,000 homicide cases every year.
High exposure to media violence results in relatively little physiological reactivity to some forms of violence. For instance, people exposed to high sexual acts of violence on television or in movies demonstrate less sympathy towards rape and sexual assault victims. Psychologists also discovered that violent video games could become the cause of delinquency, fighting in schools, and brutal criminal actions of children. In addition, a research on the causes of increase in violence among college students revealed that the culprits were active players of violent video games. In fact, video games could be the only reason why violence is still rampant among the adolescents (Huessman and Taylor, 2006).
The opponents of the idea that the media has no effects on violent behavior of individuals argue that the media does not force violence on people (Feldman, 2009). They argue that people are born either naturally violent or non-violent, and exposure to media violence does not have any impact. However, these people ignore the fact that the media sets a standard considered tolerable and ordinary in the society. The media portrays violence as something natural and something that the society readily accepts, and indicates that violence is the best way to deal with domestic disagreements.
The effects of media violence on violent behavior among people in the society cannot be overlooked. Psychologists claim that violence is learnt and taught, and this affects how children react to different situations. Children will tend to act violently since most heroes in the movies are people who win violent contests (Grohol, 2008). Nonetheless, the society should not blame the media alone for the increasing cases of violence among children and adolescents. Parenting, child upbringing, and the kind of environment a child grows in determines his or her behavior. Therefore, the society must also focus on the environment, good parenting, and right child upbringing in order to curb violent cases. Advocacy must be created to minimize children’s exposure to violent media. Parents should take control of what the children watch since it has a direct impact on their lives. Parents should also enforce parental guidance and control to ensure that their children only watch what is recommended in the media.