Although media can positively inform and entertain, it also has the power to persuade. Violent messages are frequently presented through the Internet, video games, television, film, and music. Over 40 years of research indicates that violent television, films, video games and music increase the likelihood of aggressive violent behaviour. Furthermore, recent large-scale longitudinal studies provide converging evidence linking frequent exposure to violent media in childhood with aggression later in life. Some effects of media violence in children and youth include:
1. An increase in anti-social and aggressive behaviour
2. Can become less sensitive to violence and those who suffer from violence
3. May view the world as violent and mean, becoming more fearful of being a victim of violence
4. An increased desire to see more violence in entertainment and real life
5. May view violence as an acceptable way to settle conflict
Did you know?
1. The average student spends 7.5 hours per day using media
2. Multitasking (using multiple forms of media at the same time) accounts for approximately 1.5 hours. Therefore, when each media is calculated separately, youth would be receiving 11 hours of media daily if they were not multitasking. These figures do not take into account texting!
3. The average child who watches 2 hours of cartoons a day may see nearly 10,000 violent incidents each year
4. Of youth age 8-18, 66% have their own cell phone, 76% have an iPod or MP3 player, 71% have a TV in their bedroom, and 50% have a gaming console in their bedroom
5. 70% of youth are visiting chat rooms of which 54% are “adult-oriented” or private chat rooms
6. At-risk teenage boys spend 60% more time playing games and they prefer to play violent games
7. Teens who prefer violent games are more likely to get into arguments and even physical fights with authority figures, adults, and their peers