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Youth Swayed by Sex and Violence

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Youth Swayed by Violence and Sex

In today's society, media is evident on every street corner, store front, and in every home in a multitude of formats, that include print, the Internet, or television. Now, with the constant widespread exposure of media in the public, violence and sex are forced into the daily lives of people. Since society is now afforded far more leisure time than what was once available prior to the technology boom, there is an ever increasing amount of media exposure that youth are subjected to on a daily basis. An American child spends one-third of each day of the year, with one form of media or another and there is seldom ever any sense of parental guidance or oversight at the time of exposure (Brody). The media exposure of both violence and sex affects youth negatively by desensitizing them to violence, promoting violent behavior, and increasing promiscuity.

The tie between violence and media carries a negative connotation. Media violence on American television is uniquely accessible and pervasive. Violence on television is frequent, usually inconsequential, and often rewarded. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that by 18 years of age, the average child will have witnessed nearly 100,000 acts of violence on television. If only 10 percent of these acts were to be considered highly violent, the average child would be exposed to 555 highly violent acts per year or an average of approximately 1.5 per day (Media, 798).

When violence is portrayed on television it is often rewarded without any true repercussions. Youth are then allowed to think that violent acts will not lead to any negative consequences, nor will other people be affected by their actions without illustrations of consequences, violent behavior can be deemed acceptable, causing youth to imitate what they see in the media.

The majority of people first begin viewing television at a very young age and more than often the first program viewed is a cartoon. Cartoons use characters, acts, or situations which portray violence in a humorous way so the outcomes do not come off as abrasive (Televisions Impact). These real life situations are portrayed as humorous and are then in reality looked at with inadequate compassion. Author of, "Television's Impact," states, "Although cartoons come off as laughable and innocent because of the appealing characters, the cartoons, in fact, desensitize youth to the real life situations that may be encountered with." The necessary judgment or emotional tools required to address these real life situations is skewed.

The media violence affects a person's mental well being negatively. These violent scenes lack the presence of the mental abilities which people require in order to deal or resolve conflicts and confrontations. The volume of violent acts which a child will be exposed to by the age of eighteen is not only high but at a chronic rate, which just compounds the effect further (Media, 797). Since violent acts shown in media seem to have no consequences associated with it, it is usually the first strategy that a youth may choose to engage in to solve a conflict. Instead of talking it out to resolve the conflict, a physical altercation would occur. The aggression constantly may lead youth to believe that violence is a natural and acceptable part of life. Many people ask how youth can be so easily influenced by the media. Researchers from the "Research on the Effects of Media Violence," found people experienced an increased heart rate, blood pressure, and higher respiration when they view a violent act or any type of aggressive behavior. These behaviors become imitated by children when they are in situations they have not been shown how to deal with. In 2003, Kaiser Family Foundation found that forty-seven percent of youth imitated violent acts they had seen on television (Research on the Effects).

While it may not be easy to recall all events in one's life, many events create an impactful impression on the mind. During times of stress, the mind searches for situations it can relate to in order to deal with these stressful situations. If the only experience the mind can source is one of violence or negative actions gained from media, then that is the way the person may react in a stressful situation. People process information differently from one another and have different learning styles. Majority of the population fir into the categories of either visual or audiroty learners excel. The actions we often turn to are those we have learned the best and are those that are presented with graphics, sound and images.

There are extreme differences in how people process information and learn. Majority of the population are either visual learners or auditory learners. Visual and auditory learners make up 95 percent of the population. These learners do best when there are visual aids such as pictures,



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