The Violence is Fake, the Impact is Real
She talks about the studies that the government released about this problem, in which the expected conclusion is that “violence on the television does lead to aggressive behavior by children and teenagers who watch the programs.” She compares the protests of the broadcast with those of the cigarette manufactures who deny the link between cigarettes and lung disease. The same, televisions, refuse to accept that an increasing number of violent behaviors of children, have something in common with their shows.
In 1977, there were no regularly scheduled programs for kids on any networks and most of the programs the children watch were adult television. For the broadcasters, the more violent is the problem, the more excited is the audiences.
On television, the children see the violence in terms of excitement because “there is no feeling badly about violence”; there is nothing to show the consequences of the violence. That’s why the children will deduce violence as a normal and accepting thing. In the end, kids may be less affected by the presence of violence than by the absence of pain. They learn that violence is okay, that nobody gets hurt.
The author mentions the “unwritten rule” in Japan, that if you show violence on television, you have to show the results of that violence and she agrees with this method saying that “maybe that’s what’s missing”. In the real world, people repress aggression because they know the consequences, but on television there are no consequences, that’s why children learn to accept violence not knowing how bed the consequences might be.
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