A major topic of conversation nowadays is whether or not voilence on television causes children to bahave more violently. Shortly after I began to research this topic, I realized that it is not a clear cut issue. Evidence can be easily found to support each position. In the following essay I will examine the different positions that can ba taken on this topic and try ro form my own view on the affect violent TV has on chidren.
The first position I will examine is the one in which it is believed that, without a doubt, violent TV increases the likelyhood that a child will behave in a violent manner. This stands is examined in the Maclean\'s article intitled,"Power to the people. Television\'s teen Rangers Kick up a storm. The author of this article, Particia Chrisholm, explains a heated debate over the affects that the kids show "The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" has on children. According to this article, the "hemeted lycra covered Rangers" acts as a bad influence on children. Many parents have come to believe that the childen try to act like the kids hreo\'s. A cocerned mother, Kathryn Flannery went so far as to petition the CRTC. The CRTC responded by saying that "the show is avassively to violent."(Chrisholm 1994 p.52) As a result of the petiton, many stations voluntarily refused to air the controversial kids show. This case shows the power that people can have over the CRTC. Unfortunately, the parents were not able to entirely shield their children from the Power Rangers TV show. Many US broadcasters, available on cable, continued to air the show.
Another study that supports this belief that TV violence causes children to act more violently is an experiment conducted by Leonard Eron and his collegues. In these studies, Leonard Eron and his collegues studied childern for a number of years and measuread peer ratings obtained from each child\'s classmates. By doing this, they could see if violent TV changed the attitudes of the children. In the end, it was concluded that violent TV significantly affected the way in which the children behaved.
The other position that can be taken when discussing this issue is one in which people believe that violent TV does not affect the behavior of children. In the Canadian Forum article, "TV and The Child Savers. Bad Habits and The Boob Tube" this position is discussed. The author, Thelma McCormack discusses the goals of the action group that refers to themselves as the Child Savers. According to this article, the Child Savers believe that "Programs which contain gratitous violence will not be shown on television."(McCormack 1993.P20) They basically want to force the CRTC to wake up and take action. They are also considering making an ammendment to the Criminal Code. The author of this article seems to be more interested with discrediting the Child Savers action group. McCormack quotes George Gerbner as saying "in reality, there is less violence on TV now than in the past.(McCormack 1993 p.20) Gerbner belongs to the Unniversity of Pensylvannia\'s Annemburg School Of Communications and has been studying TV for more than a decade. Gerbner believes that there is less tolerance for any type of violence. This article discusses rhe situation in which the American Psychologists decided to change their initial view on TV violence negatively affecting the behavior of children. They now believe that thier view was based on laboratory results. They also realize that the long term affects have not yet been determined. This article has vast importance because it shows that what is expertly reported is not necessarily true. If the American pychologists can make a mistake anyone can. The American Pychologists have not entirely dismissed their view, they have merely realized that they did not have enough concrete evidence to suoourt their view. This Canadian Forum article also realizes that most studies on violence and TV isolate TV as the only contributor to the childrend violent behavior. They forget about the other aspects of the subjects lives. They might have allready been prone to act violently. This article states that "the result is that our studies tell us little violence or the culture of childhood."(McCormack 1993 p.22) The author believes that we need to understand how children react and respond