Mother Magazine Wired Cover
February 1, 1997

The Blame Game: Violence On TV

Laurie Kobliska, Editor

STOCKTON DESK - Media violence has hit an all time low and parents are coming together to challenge the violence on TV. Who is to blame? Are the producers for making such shows responsible? Are we, the audience for wanting to watch? Is it the government for not restricting what we can watch?

We all want to blame someone else but this doesn't solve the issue. We need to change the way we watch as much as what we watch. Parents and educators can help our childrens' future by discussing the violence following violent scenes on TV. Questions like:

Who is the Good Guy? Why? Who gets hurt? Do you think this happens in real life? Why was that kind of music in the background? How are girls and boys, women and men portrayed in violent movies? Ask your children if they can diferentiate between the reality of the news and a program with actors in it.

The American Psychological Association's Commission on Violence and Youth found that:

Attitudes of accepting violence sometimes leads to aggressive behavior. Watching excessive amounts of violence can cause people to think their communities are more dangerous than they really are.

It can result in less likelihood to take action on behalf of victims. While other viewers crave increasingly violent material to remain stimulated.

Today, your remotes can be programmed to block out thise programs with specific content, but do parents use this resource?

Mostly not, because they still want the shows with violent content to keep them stimulated. If such shows are viewed by the younger audience it is important to have discussion during and after with our children about the reality of what is viewed and the reasons actions occur between characters.

These days it seems that it has become so easy to blame human behavior on the media. What ever happened to family, school and community? Parents need to pay attention to how much television is viewed as much as what type of programs their children watch.

The truth is, we are all to blame for accepting the level of violence portrayed on television and for what we choose to watch. Take responsibility for what your children view at home and set the example.


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