This study aims to talk about TV violence and its effects on the behavior of the children and the ways to handle it. In order to achieve this goal, this paper is organized into three sections. The first section helps us know about the children’s understanding of television. The second section discusses the influence and effects of TV violence to the behavior of Filipino children which is the main concern of this study. And the third section offers suggestions in handling and regulating TV violence. Chapter II Presentation of Data Children’s Understanding of TV
According to research, before age seven, children have difficulty integrating separate scenes into a continuous story line. Instead, they treat each scene as an isolated incident and are unable to relate a TV character’s behavior to its prior motives and eventual consequences. Thus, young children cannot see the connection between violence and its consequences if the perpetrator of violence gets to be punished only at the end of the program. Studies show that young children recall little information that is central to the plot of a story.
Their difficulty ranges from their inability to differentiate what is essential to the plot and what is nonessential. Character actions, especially those showing physical actions and confrontations, are remembered better than scenes offering explanations for their actions. Children find it hard to recall scenes recounting inner feelings that explain previous events. Young children also have a hard time distinguishing make-believe from reality. A five-year-old child wondered why an actor who “died” in one TV program “came back to life” in another show; and if Superman can fly, why can’t he (the child) even if he wears a Superman cape.
Children observe that cartoon characters manage to recover from severe violent acts almost immediately. This kind of exposure could lead them to interpret that in real life, people who are victims of violent acts do not really get hurt at all. A conversation between an author and a six-year-old clearly illustrates the kind of message a child gets from a cartoon program: “Why is GI Joe your favorite show? ” “Because it has a lot of fighting. ” “Who would you like to be like when you grow up? ” “I want to be like Rambo because he has a big gun. ” “What happens to the bad guys you shoot? ” “They die. ” “And what happens to you? ” “Nothing. Young children who watch a lot of television tend to believe that it is all right to hit someone if one is angry and have a good reason. (Source: http://www. childprotection. org. ph) Influence and Effects of TV Violence Upon meeting Snow White at Disneyland, a preschooler said to her, “You’re not Snow White, you know. ” “Why do you say that? ” asked Snow White. “Well,” the child replied, “if you were real, you’d be a cartoon. ” And this is how powerful the media is in shaping children’s images of reality. (http://www. stanford. edu/dept/bingschool/research_dsl_1999bandura. html) The Influence of TV Violence to Children’s Behavior; 4
Child psychologists point out that it is a misconception to consider cartoons as harmless just because they are funny. The theme of cartoons such as Popeye is that any problem can be solved by brute force which one acquires by eating spinach. In being funny and fast paced, cartoons may tend to reduce a child’s perception of danger, pain, and suffering. TV violence can produce at least four effects. First, it teaches aggressive styles of conduct. Second, it weakens restraints against aggression by glamorizing violence. When good triumphs over evil violently, viewers are even more strongly influenced.
Third, it habituates and desensitizes reactions to cruelty. And finally, it shapes our images of reality; for example, only 10% of major crimes in society are violent, but on TV, 77% of major crimes are violent, which has the effect of making people more fearful of becoming crime victims. Psychologist have speculated that watching televised violence might be emotionally arousing, making it more likely that viewers will react violently to frustrations in the environment. Televised violence might also provide models that viewers imitate, particularly if the violence is carried out by attractive, powerful models (Bernstein, et al, 284).
The Social Learning Theory considers that people learn from one another, including such concepts as observational learning, imitation, and modeling. The ten-year old boy, Sergio Pelico who died after watching Saddam’s execution in TV must have imitated it. (Lucas, et al, 103) This theory together with other theories was used to explain a great many social problems such as crime, suicide, divorce and alcoholism. Furthermore, there are some people who could easily be influenced by propaganda and they would through themselves into new mass organizations in an effort to find some sense of belongingness. Stark, 21) The mass media especially the television, also contributes heavily to adolescent nonconformity in three ways. First, they stereotype all adolescents whose grooming and clothing do not reflect approved adult standards as nonconformists and attribute the behavior characteristic of nonconformity to them. If society labels its adolescents as “teen-agers” and expects them to be rebellious, unpredictable, sloppy, and wild in their behavior, and if the picture is repeatedly reinforced by the mass media such cultural expectations may very well force adolescents into the role of rebel.
The mass media contribute to adolescent nonconformity by making real life appear unsatisfying and dull. (Hurlock, 124) A survey was conducted concerning the influence and effects of TV violence to the behavior of the children in Cebu City. The survey aims to know how children are linked to television and how it affects them and their parents. The results of the survey are shown on the next pages. . Survey results The percentage of the parents’ answers based on the following questions: Question # 1: Does your child love to watch suspense movies that involve killing? Question # 2: Does your child watch television for more than 8 hours?
The Influence of TV Violence to Children’s Behavior; 7 Question # 3: Are you worried about the kinds of television program that they watch? Question #4: Have you noticed any negative changes in your child’s behavior after watching television? The Influence of TV Violence to Children’s Behavior; 8 Question #5: Does your child spend more time watching television than other necessary things like studying? Question # 6: Do they pay more attention to the television than to you? The Influence of TV Violence to Children’s Behavior; 9 The survey shows that most children pay more attention to the television than to their parents.
A mother even commented, “Maayo pa sauna nga wala pay TV kay ang mga bata buotan” (It was better before the television came because children are still kind and obedient). Most children that are 8-12 years old spend more time in front the TV than doing other necessary things like studying. And what’s the bad thing is that if children are used to watching television, they will be exposed to violence that might influence their behavior. Although not all children are watching television for more than 8 hours, the effects of television are still prone to children.
Some parents even admitted that they have observed some negative changes in their child’s behavior after watching a television show that has some bad scenes in it since children tend to imitate the things they have seen from the show without knowing that it might be wrong. Several scholars have pointed out that as media content has increased in violence in the past few decades, violent crimes among youth have declined rapidly. Although most scholars caution that this decline cannot be attributed to a causal effect, they conclude that this observation argues against causal harmful effects for media violence.
Regulating TV Violence Parents worry about the kinds of television programs that their children watch. The urgency and seriousness of this issue on media violence has reached global proportions. A worldwide concern has prompted parents, educators, advocacy groups, and mental health professionals to launch protest activities and public discussions on how children can be protected against harmful media influences. Influence of TV Violence to Children’s Behavior; 10 A number of bills were filed to mitigate the negative effects of televised violence. House Bill 19183 proposes a ratings system for TV programs.
House Bill 10183 provides that cartoons featuring violence and unethical conduct should be aired only during times when young children are not usually watching. The Kapisanan ng Mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas has its code and internal guidelines. Relevant sections pertaining to responsibility towards children are: – Children’s programs shall not present violence, whether physical or psychological, as a means to resolve conflicts and problems. – Children’s programs shall not emphasize perverted sex and undue violence. – Penalties have been stipulated for violations of these rules.
These include fines ranging from P5, 000 to P15, 000, suspension of KBP privileges, expulsion from KBP membership, to recommendation to the National Telecommunications Commission for suspension of station lease for the fourth offense. Consequently, The Department of Education are monitoring television channels through a project aimed at reducing violent content that might be watched by children. The campaign involves TV shows between 6 a. m. and 10 a. m. , which the DepEd claims to be the period where more children watch TV. Their goal is to have stations comply by reducing violent or vulgar shows by as much as 20 percent.
The campaign also encourages parents and concerned citizens to send reports or file complaints to NCCT regarding TV shows that may be harmful for children. Influence of TV Violence to Children’s Behavior; 11 Television is not merely bad since it is used as a means of communication and as a means of educating but what makes it wrong is the way people abuse its use and the way some of them used television to expose violent actions without even thinking how it could affect the viewers. The effects of TV violence are no doubt harmful especially to children. These may cause negative changes in their behavior one of which is being aggressive.
That is why children should be guided by their parents or guardians so that will not be influenced by the words they hear and the things they see. When viewing together, they can discuss how the conflict could have been solved without the violence. They should explain to the child how violence in entertainment is “faked” and not real. Such interventions, whether at the personal or family level can moderate the impact of violent scenes on children. Adult explanation improves children’s understanding of plots, characters, and events. Co-viewing with children can provide occasions for parents to discuss values, beliefs, and moral issues.
Parents should also set clear guidelines on the time and length of television viewing. Perhaps the most effective approach in dealing with this problem of television violence should be systemic and multilevel—changes must take place at the home, school, and industry levels. Though researches have all pointed to the association between televised violence and aggression in children, what a child learns from television may be “a product of the broader relationship among medium, child, and parent” Thus, active, responsible parental involvement in the child’s television viewing does make a great difference.
Influence of TV Violence to Children’s Behavior; 12 Chapter III Conclusion Television has become a potent agency of socialization because like the family, school, and peers, it directly provides the child with experiences which shape their attitudes and influence their behaviors. Children that are exposed to TV violence can experience negative changes in their behavior. First, it can teach aggressive styles of conduct. Second, it weakens restraints against aggression by glamorizing violence.
Third, it habituates and desensitizes reactions to cruelty. And finally, it shapes our images of reality. In order to handle this, a number of bills were filed to mitigate the negative effects of televised violence. Parents can also encourage their children to find pleasure in other mass media, such as books and newspapers. Perhaps the most appropriate solution in dealing with this must take place at home, school and industry. Thus, active, responsible parental guidance is very necessary.
The power to initiate change for the prevention of the harmful effects of TV violence should come from the “market”– not a market that passively laps up unhealthy and disturbing programs that assault young, sensitive minds, but a market that is critical, enlightened, and imbued with a strong resolve to protect children’s well-being and right to wholesome entertainment. Influence of TV Violence to Children’s Behavior; 13 Chapter 1V Bibliography Books Lucas, Maria Rita and Corpuz, Brenda. Facilitating Learning: A Metacognitive Process. Quezon City: Lorimar Publishing, Inc. , 2007. Stark, Rodney.