We Censor Violence in the Media? (PDF)
Dyno Violence in Media Memo
• Nearly 40% of the violent incidents on television are initiated by characters who possess qualities that make them attractive role models.
•One-third of violent programs feature “bad” characters who are never punished.
• More than half of the violent incidents feature physical aggression that would be lethal or incapacitating if it were to occur in real life.
• At least 40 percent of the violent scenes on television include humor.
• 60 percent (up 3 percent from the 1996 results) of television programs contain violence and more than 60 percent of the violent incidents involve repeated behavioral acts of aggression.
• Youngsters who watch two hours of cartoon each day are exposed to five hundred high-risk portrayals of violence per ear that teach aggressive behaviors.
• TV ratings tend to attract many children to very violent, inappropriate programs by alerting kids to their existence.
Over 1000 studies attest to a casual connection
between media violence and aggressive behavior in children.
Exposure to violence is the most influential
contributor in explaining children's violent behaviors in elementary
and middle school children.
61% of TV programming contains violence, with
children's programming being the most violent.
Young children are likely to imitate what they
see on TV, particularly if the behavior is performed by an attractive
role model and is either rewarded or goes unpunished.
In homes where no physical or emotional violence
is present, children are still bathed in violent images; the average
child spends more than three hours a day watching television. Television,
videogames, music and film have become increasingly violent (Donnerstein
et al., 1995). Huston and colleagues have estimated that the average
18 year old will have viewed 200,000 acts of violence on television
(Huston, et al., 1992). Even with solid emotional, behavioral, cognitive
and social anchors provided by a healthy home and community, this pervasive
media violence increases aggression and antisocial behavior (Lewis et
al., 1989; Myers et al., 1995; Mones, 1991; Hickey, 1991; Loeber et
al., 1993; O'Keefe, 1995), contributes to a sense that the world is
more dangerous than it is (Gerbner, 1992) and desensitizes children
to future violence (Comstock and Paik, 1991). In children exposed to
violence in the home, these media images of power and violence are major
sources of ‘cultural’ values, reinforcing what they have
seen modeled at home.