Thesis Statement About Cartoon Violence

Essay about Impact of Cartoons on Children's Behavior

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Impact of Cartoons on Children's Behavior

Television programs that are targeted towards children, such as cartoons, can affect children in both positive and negative ways. I examined a variety of cartoons on both commercial and public television to observe the content of children's programming and determine the effects, both positive and negative, that programs have on children. The cartoons contain a wide variety of subject matters that can influence children in many different ways. I found that the majority of cartoons choose to use violence and inappropriate subject matter to entertain children. These images and stories can have a tremendous negative impact on children because the violence is rewarded without consequences,…show more content…

The judge announced that they "will fight 'til the last one's standing" and they engaged in a brutal battle. Although there was a victory of good over evil, the violence that is present throughout this popular cartoon undoubtedly has a negative impact on children. This cartoon shows that violence and brutality are legitimate ways to solve a problem. The human characters are glorified and seen as heroes who have performed the amazing task of killing the enemy. Because of this glorification children are affected in the fact that they begin to idolize and imitate certain violent characters.

After watching this cartoon, I interviewed two of my male cousins, both of whom are eight years old. Dillon said that he "liked "Dragon Ball Z" because the good guys fight with super strength and power and always win." Brice admitted to liking the violence and fighting because "it's fun to watch and the good guys always win." These comments show how the violence is entertaining to children and that they favor characters that win through the use of violence. Both boys enjoy watching a variety of violent cartoons. There is a direct correlation between the images of violence that they continuously watch in cartoons and the desire for violence while playing together and watching television.

The cartoon, "CatDog," has an obviously negative effect on children because it shows violent acts and emphasizes jealousy,

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The Effects of Television Violence on Children

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It has been calculated that American kids see about 200,000 acts of violence and 25,000 murders on television by the time they reach age eighteen." (Schleifer 18) Arrests of people under the age of eighteen for violent crimes rose forty-seven percent from 1988 to 1992. (Miller 174) The American Medical Association conducted a study that found a direct relationship between viewing and homicide. (Miller 176) Does this kind of overexposure to violence have a significant effect on children and teenagers? The answer is yes! Many reliable sources have proven that violence in the media has a negative influence in children under the age of eighteen. Statistics show that deaths and arrests involving children due to violence committed by other children has increased. Also, children that imitate characters who use violence in the media, display aggressive behavior, tend to be desensitized and give them reason to believe that violence can happen without consequence. The following paragraphs will explain how media violence shows children that violence is acceptable and that it's ok to act in a violent manner. "Experts say children think that violence is an acceptable way to deal with problems and conflicts. (Schleifer 18, Edgar 48) One example of this is a boy named Tim whom was interviewed about violence he was involved in at high school. Tim said that what he saw television made his violent behavior seem more acceptable and it was the way to handle things. He said he learned to by what he saw on the streets and on television. "We not only tolerate violence," says Karl Menninger, a renowned psychologist, "we put it on the front pages of our newspapers." Children will often try to imitate the things they see on television. Some students try to capture the entertainment value they get from the big screen by acting violently in real life. (Kreiner 27) Some cartoons have come into question like The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ren and Stimpy, and Beavis and Butt-Head because there are children that have hurt and been hurt while trying to copy their favorite cartoon. (Edgar 29) In Toronto, a six-year old boy wearing a Ninja Turtle costume stabbed his friend in the arm for not giving back a toy he had borrowed. Another boy in Ottawa was caught swinging the family cat by the head and when his mother tried to stop him he said, "It's just like Michelangelo, one of the Ninja Turtles.

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" A little boy started a fired and in which his sister died after watching the MTV show, Beavis and Butt- Head, two teenage characters play with lighters. "Bob Greene, a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, said incident like this is frightening especially because kids are acting out what they see on MTV. (Miller 59) A poll was taken in Los Angeles of young people ages 10 to 16 said that they have often wanted to try something they have seen on TV and are influenced by violence in the media. (Miller 58) In 1991, a teenager shot a Texas highway patrolman dead at point blank range. He testified at his trial that the music of Tupac Shakur made him do it. Another incident was after the opening of the movie Boyz in the Hood. "The violence ranged from Chicago, where a man was fatally shot, to a theater in Alabama, where three teens were shot in a gang fight. (Miller 61) The majority of research done on television focuses on the viewing of violence and how it causes aggressive behavior in the people who view it. (acc.jc.edu/north/masscomm/cartoon/htm) Many studies, including one published by the National Television Study have found, the more and longer children are exposed to media violence the greater the risk they will become aggressive adolescents or adults. (acc.jc.edu/north /masscomm /cartoon/http 1) A teenage boy, who was interviewed said, "It can fuel violence … for kinds who already have a tendency to do it." (Miller 66) As a result the children may respond violently to some situations; "Psycologists believe that heavy exposure to televised violence is one of the causes of aggressive behavior, crime and violent affects youngster of all ages, of both genders at all socioeconomic levels … it can not be denied or explained away." (Miller 65) Children who view large amounts of violence on television are likely to become desensitized to all kinds of violence - televised or real. This is especially true when it come to cartoon violence because the consequences to the victims are rarely shown. (acc.jc.edu/north/masscomm/cartoon/html) Very young children, especially, and some teenagers have trouble distinguishing fact from fantasy. One teenager gang member wounded in a shoot out was amazed at how much the gun shoot hurt. "After all, on television, people who get shot never show pain!" (Schleifer 18) " I didn't know it would hurt him, said an eight year old boy after he was arrested for beating his next door-neighbor." (Kreiner 27) Statistics even show that the media also affects the number of crimes committed by children and murders of children by other children. In 1993, 28 New York youth faced murder charges. On a national scale, arrests for homicide among juveniles went up 93 percent from 1988 to 1992. A 1994 study by Parade magazine showed that 12 percent of all violent crime is now committed inside a school or school property. (Miller 174-175) "In 1991,15 19-year-old males were more likely to be arrested for murder than males in any other age group." (McCUEN 23) A 20-year study conducted by Rowell Huesmann shows that kids who watched a great deal of violence at the age of eight were consistently more likely to commit violent crimes or abuse at the age of 30. (Miller 65) "To say that we are not influenced by what we see is simply not true." (Miller 57) All of the information provided above proves that violence in the media has detrimental effects on children. Children who watch violence in the media are more aggressive and violent and commit more violent crimes. Through desensitizing they have lost their compassion for people who are hurt by violent crimes and therefore feel that it's ok to hurt people. The media has sent this message that using violence is an acceptable way of solving problems. This has showed that media violence can have nothing but a negative effect on children. "Our values, the principles by which we conduct our lives, are determined by all the things that influences us as we are growing up." (Miller 56) " The main point is, television is a teacher-either by design of default." (Miller 65) Children and teenagers are affected by all of the things they see in the media.





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