TV and the effects on our children

How many televisions do you have in your house? Do you watch those TV’s for more than an hour a day? How much is too much television? These questions are asked by people everyday, with each question comes a varied response depending on who is asked. Children are very impressionable. How does television affect the children that are between the ages of ten and sixteen? Could the affect be positive or is it negative.
People who watch violent television as children behave more aggressively even 15 years later, according to one of the few TV violence studies to follow children into adulthood (Grossman 43). The effect appears in both sexes regardless even of how aggressive a person was as a child, researchers found (Kline 138). “Experts say the results are no surprise, but added that the study is important because it used a wide range of measures, included many participants and showed the effect in females as well as males” (Noble 113). “Huesmann said televised violence suggests to young children that aggression is appropriate in some situations, especially when it's used by
Gleason 2
charismatic heroes. It also erodes a natural aversion to violence” (Comstock 14).
The American Psychological Association has said that viewing violence on TV promotes aggressive behavior, particularly in children. Other mental-health and medical groups have taken similar stands (Nobel 178). Children who play actively will have more of an opportunity to develop their senses than children who are passively viewing (Grossman 192).
The health aspects of watching TV can vary, almost entirely bad. While watching TV, the eyes are practically motionless and `defocused' in order to take in the whole screen. Constant movement is required for healthy eye development (parenthoodweb Oct 24). Viewing affects not only eye mechanics, but also the ability to focus and pay attention. Since TV is more visual than auditory, children's sense of hearing is not being used to its full extent. Active listening is a skill that needs to be developed. Children need practice in hearing different things to gain that needed stimulation. Also, when TV is constantly on, the sense of hearing may be dulled by the persistent background noise (apa Oct 30).
Studies show that the consumption of alcohol is shown or mentioned in 80 percent of prime-time programs (Cook
Gleason 3
32). Alcoholic beverages outnumber the other beverages consumed on TV, but the pattern of drinking is virtually the opposite of the pattern found in the real world. 52 percent of all identifiable alcoholic beverages on television are hard liquor, 22 percent are wine, and 16 percent are beer (Noble 203). “In soap operas they tend to average almost three one-minute intervals per twenty-one-minute program during which an alcohol-related event occurs. This amounts to at least six incidents per hour. Other studies show that during no hour of early evening TV is the average rate of alcohol usage fewer than 1 1/2 incidents per hour, and during later times (9:00-11:00 P.M.), no hour passes with fewer than three incidents of drinking” (Noble 204). Each year the average child watches about 22,000 commercials—5,000 of them for food, most of them are high-calorie, high-sugar, low-nutrition items (Grossman 157).
The most harmful messages that the TV brings may have to do with sex. In the past several years, there has been an increase in the amount of flirting and sexual innuendoes on TV. Storylines and settings that include risqué clothes are more popular than before. “The references to sex on TV, whether spoken or implied, often occur between unmarried partners—five times more frequently than between married couples. References to such relations with prostitutes come
Gleason 4
in second. Together, references to sexual conduct between unmarried partners and with prostitutes account for about 70 percent of all references to intimate physical conduct on television” (ddonline Nov 17).
Also very interesting is the research that shows nearly 33 percent of all close relationships on TV involve conflict or violence. Relationships that are romantically linked tend to have the most conflict and violence—48 percent (Tuchschener 27). Very few programs can be viewed in their entirety without seeing something to have to do with relations between a man and a woman. Many people, although they find it offensive, are willing