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Argumentative Essay on Television Causes Irreparable Harm to Children

0 September 12 2014, 12:18 in Argumentative Essays

Argumentative Essay on Television Causes Irreparable Harm to Children

Next to the Internet, television is one of the most powerful medium of communication in the world today. Everybody watches television at least a few hours a day. Though it can be argued that television can be a source of information and can be beneficial to children, it can also be harmful to the children when the parents fail to properly monitor what the children are watching. Several studies have been made in the past about the impact of television on children. Using these studies as basis, I aim to prove that television can negatively impact the development and behavior of children.

Television is harmful to the children because it competes with the time that should be devoted to reading. A study was conducted in the Netherlands to determine the reasons why the time devoted to leisure reading among children have decreased. First, the authorities were concerned on the decline of those who buy books in the Netherlands. The study showed that television is partially responsible for the decline in the leisure reading among children. While it is argued that television can also be informative and that children can also learn from television, television could never replace books. In fact, television was primarily intended as a means for entertainment. Reading books is still the best source of education for young children.

Television violence causes aggression among children. Everybody would agree that television showcases violence and sex. In fact everybody would agree that they make it appear that violence and sex are part of a person’s normal life. Experts say that children who repeatedly watch shows where violence is the main theme are more likely to imitate what they see. They are more likely to think that violence is a part of life and that there is nothing wrong with it.

Studies have been made in the past wherein various individuals have been exposed to violence in the mass media. The study sought to measure whether the exposure to violence have an impact on their feelings of empathy, concern or sympathy. The results showed that those who have been heavily exposed to violence have elicited lower reactions to violent films. On the other hand, those who have been less exposed to violence have higher reactions to violent film clips. The study concluded that the general physiological response is reduced when individuals have been exposed to violence more than those who do not.

According to psychologists, the violence being shown on television negatively impacts the children. Psychologists Robert M. Liebert and Joyce Sprafkin have revealed that television violence can induce aggressive and anti-social behavior for children. However, they emphasize that television violence is not the sole cause of aggressive and anti-social behavior but it is one of the causes of such behavior.
Third, when children are constantly exposed to themes of premarital sex, promiscuity, one-night stands, adultery on television they get the idea that these acts are not wrong but are in fact norm. Their sense of values gets distorted. It confuses them on which acts fall within the norm and which acts are anti-social. The desensitizing effect of sex and violence on television not only affects children. It bears stressing that even adults are affected by the constant exposure to sex and violence on television. Adults too may be encouraged to have extra-marital relations after constantly watching television shows with sexually explicit content.

The arguments show that television can interfere with the normal development of the children. For individuals who are born in the television generation, books stand in a disadvantageous position as children may fail to recognize the importance of reading books compared to the entertaining value of television. This can interfere in the development of the children’s reading habits which is essential in his life. Exposure to television violence can also desensitize the children causing them to believe that sex and violence are part of the everyday life. I do not suggest that children should be banned from watching television. In fact, I aim to promote education as a source of valuable learning for children. However, I caution the parents in ensuring that they exert the effort to monitor the kind of shows that their children watch.

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