TV Violence Strongly Linked to Later Aggressive Behavior
TV violence watched by children erodes their aversion to violence and leads them to believe that aggression is appropriate in some situations. On the basis of a lengthy study, the Associated Press and CNN reporte that, “people who watch violent television as children behave more aggressively even 15 years later, according to one of the few TV violence studies to follow children into adulthood. …The study linked violent TV viewing at ages 6 to 9 to such outcomes as spouse abuse and criminal convictions in a person's early 20s.
…the study is important because it used a wide range of measures, included many participants and showed the effect in females as well as males.”
The results of this large study argued against the theory that the finding were due to “the participants' socioeconomic status or intelligence, or their parents' childrearing practices,” or that “aggressive children seek out TV violence.”
The American Psychological Association has concluded that “viewing violence on TV or other mass media does promote aggressive behavior, particularly in children.” Many other secular medical groups are in agreement.
For more details, see the journal Developmental Psychology (March 2003). The article was written by psychologists L. Rowell Huesmann and colleagues at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research.
Study: So-called “Family Hour” on TV is raunchier than ever
A new study of television's so-called “family hour” (the first hour of prime time) found that youngsters watching network television last season were exposed to more coarse language, violence and bawdy humor than in the previous year, according to the Parents Television Council.
“I don't think enough parents realize just how awful it's become,” said L. Brent Bozell III, president of the watchdog group. “Some of the worst programming is now being put on during that hour, and it's being directed deliberately at children.”
Bozell emphasized that the study looked at broadcast television, “not late-night, obscure cable.” The group studied 200 hours of programming airing in 2000-01 on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, WB and UPN during the first hour of prime time—8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the East and West coasts and 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Central and Mountain time zones.
Overall, coarse language was up 78 percent compared to 1999. Violence rose 70 percent. Sexual material was more raw than in the past, the PTC said. Oral sex, homosexuality, pornography, masturbation and “kinky practices” were mentioned on family hour shows, the study said. The study found that UPN was the worst offender, while NBC was the second.
Bozell added, “By poisoning the Family Hour, the networks and their affiliates, with the generous support of sponsors, are robbing children of their innocence.”