Children who watch a regular amount of television will see about 20,000 murders and more than 80,000 other assaults. That is around 100,000 violent acts that will witnessed by these kids before they become teenagers (Using TV Sensibly).
In the 1950s one of the first concerns that became known about the effects of television was concern about the impact of televised violence on the behavior of young viewers (Berry and Asamen 13).
The general concern about violence, both then and now, includes the fact that there have been consistently high levels of violence throughout much of television's history. Children are more vulnerable to these violent acts due to the fact that they are in the early stages of developing behavior patterns, attitudes and values about social interaction (Berry and Asamen 13).
In a study by UCLA they found that children's TV programs now contain even more violence than adult prime time programs (Basta 226). Some of the violence can be found on "realistic" programs and some will be seen on cartoons (Using TV Sensibility). Bugs Bunny and Pals (TNT Network) and Tom & Jerry Kids (Fox Network) two of the most popular children's cartoons show as much as 68 and 88 violent acts per hour (Basta 222).
There are three possible effects that have been the focus of most people's concern about TV violence: Children may become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of other; youngsters may become more fearful of the world around them; and children may be more willing to behave in aggressive or harmful ways toward others (Berry and Asamen 14-15).
Violence has been the number one concern of the congressional hearings I 1951 and 1955 and it continued to be an issue in the violence commission in 1969, the Surgeon General's report in 1972, and in a numerous of other reports that have been conducted through 1992 (Berry and Asamen 13). Violence is still a major concern than ever especially since the recent school shootings which have been correlated with the violence seen on television.
There are ways parents can limit the effects of violence that are seen by their children.
1. Measure the amount of violence in the shows your children are viewing.
2. View TV together and discuss the violence with your child.
3. Explain to your child how violence on TV is "fake".
4. Read to your child rather than watch television.