Assessing the Negative Effects of Violent Media on Children

There is a generation of people coming along that are more violent and fierce than before. Many blame the media and their relentless advertising. It is true that it plays a part in the problem. But it is not the main reason of for the increase in violence, crime, and fierce behavior. The starting place for such vicious behavior among young people can be attributed to a lack of parental guidance.

Consider the media’s role in all of this. Many of the advertisements for violent games or toys target young people. Nevertheless, the nation’s buying power does not reside with the children or teenagers. All the subscriptions to cable television, satellite television, pay-per-view movies, and video games cost money. Children do not have jobs to provide them with the money to buy these things. Their parents provide the financial means.

If a child has violent tendencies, the media provides entertainment that will appeal to him. It is not their responsibility to monitor who is using their product. Because of the outcry for increased regulation to curb some of the adult content, there are parental warnings on the different forms of media. But there is only so much the government can do before they infringe upon the amendment right to free speech. The FCC has introduced legislation to assist parents to control the content of their children’s entertainment. There has been much in the news about FCC restricting indecency on television during certain hours of the day. Television stations that do not adhere to the ban are subject to costly fines.

FCC has also pass laws which require that the V-chip technology is installed on televisions. The V-chip allows television programs to be blocked on the basis of its content rating (http://www.fcc.gov/vchip/). The rating system was “established by the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Cable Television Association and the Motion Picture Association of America” and works in union with the V-chip to help parents to block television programs based on how the content was rated (http://www.fcc.gov/vchip/). For example, TV-PG is a rating given to a television program because its theme contains “moderate violence (V), some sexual situations (S), infrequent coarse language (L), or some suggestive dialogue (D)” (http://www.fcc.gov/vchip/). A parent would set the V-chip to block all programming which they do not what their children to see. And cable and satellite companies have taken steps to make sure that parents have what they need to protect children from media violence. Many cable set-top boxes allow parents to block entire channels or specific programming based on channel, time and date, rating, or title (http://www.controlyourtv.org/).

The choice to take advantage of these provisions is left up to the parents and they have to accept their responsibility in choosing what decent for their children. Parents should not carelessly hand over the remote control and assume the children are going to behave like responsible adults. First, the parents have to do their part to benefit from the regulation made by the FCC. If the television has v-chip but it is not programmed, it is not the fault of the media when the children watch unpleasant or violent programming. If the child’s parent does not do anything to restrict their child’s entertainment, how can they question the deterioration in behavior and loss of proper values? In essence, it is their fault for not being forceful enough as the parent to make the decisions that are in the best interest of their children, despite what their children decide to be entertainment.