Monday, September 30, 2019

Does Sex and Violence on Television Have a Negative Effect on Children?

Does sex and violence on television have negative effects on children? The issue that I am addressing is the effect of sex and violence in the media on children. As long as there has been television, there has been an association made between media and violence – children who repeated what they saw on cartoons leading to their death, teenagers injured while emulating a popular movie, and mass killings blamed on video games. Primarily this relationship has been assumed to be causal with television being the assumed central cause in violent or risky behavior.Once you begin delving into the roots of violent and risky behavior, however, the association between modeled violence and expressed violence becomes less and less obvious. Violence in society in general is complicated and requires unpacking so that each aspect of the roots of violence can be analyzed and ultimately discussed in a meaningful way, including acknowledging that the origins are just as layered and complex as the solutions. Summary of Internet Information I began looking into various studies and articles about violence in media to see what kind of information was already available on the subject.There were a number of points of view represented, however, none of them outright dismissed that there was some relationship between sex and violence in the media and violent behavior. The studies also generally agreed that the complexities of violent behavior may potentially be ultimately unknowable because of that complexity. What may drive one person to violence may have little to no effect on another or the level of exposure to images of sex and violence in combination with other influences, including parental and peer attitudes towards sex and violence, may be a stronger relationship than media influence alone.The article â€Å"It’s not all sex and violence† by Agustin Fuentes set the tone for how I came to look at my research because it brought up the important point that sex and violence are over emphasized in modern culture and can give the false impression that sex and violence are at the very center of every human motivation rather than showing the reality that sex and violence are merely two aspects of the human experience, rather than central or common. The topics are scintillating and therefore more discussed.I also included research done to determine the effect of three safe sex campaigns run on Netherlands television during the mid-1990’s in order to see if there were positive messages that were also being sent on television about sex and sexual behavior (â€Å"Can public campaigns effectively change psychological determinants of safer sex? †), an evaluation of three Dutch campaigns that determined that the campaigns were successful in their goals of increasing safe sex practices in the Netherlands.I wanted to see if positive messages about sex and sexual behavior also had an effect on teenagers and young adults as this could be assoc iated back to imitating modeled behavior in general. The determination in the case of the Dutch safe sex campaigns was that effectiveness of the televised messages was related not only to the message itself, but also to the amount of exposure the subject had to the message.Those who were more exposed to the messages were more likely to engage in safe sex than those who were less exposed or not exposed at all. In â€Å"Mass Media Effects on Violent Behavior† by Richard Felson discussed in detail the difficulties of studying the effects of media violence on children because it’s difficult to measure intent and the inherent issues present in building experiments that have the greatest possibility of delivering reasonable results.It was the most comprehensive and inclusive article that I read as it looked at a number of different methods of measuring media effects on children – ultimately demonstrating that there is a provable corollary between exposure to violence seen on television and later violent behavior, however, the media input was shown to be part of a greater set of environmental concerns.What I could determine from my sources was that the greatest issue faced by researchers interested in studying the possible corollary between seeing sex and violence on television and that exposure being the driving force for later acts of violence by the subject is that there is no consensus in the data. Replicating a real world experience in the laboratory requires introducing controls that may cause the subject or subjects to feel freer to engage in extreme behavior as the environment created in the experiment can lack the third-party controls that exist in the real world.There is also some difficulty in repeating the results regardless of the conclusions drawn from the data. Additionally, there are complications where the studies are not necessarily using the same metrics in their research so their conclusions may be similar or even confirm the findings of other research but not using the same methodology. The scientific method relies primarily on replication of results when executing the same experiment and that doesn’t seem to be happening in the research done on this topic.The shared determinations between each of my sources all acknowledged the shortcomings in the research; however, this did not prevent them from coming to some kind of conclusion. The most common conclusion was that there was a relationship, however, that relationship was not a direct one to one corollary. This was true for both negative and positive messages. The general acknowledgements is that while there is an association between exposure to messages in sex and violence in the media, that these messages were not necessarily a driving force in later acts of violence, but were certainly a factor in later acts of violence.Summary of a Research Study The research study that I am summarizing is â€Å"Can public campaigns effectively change psych ological determinants of safer sex? An evaluation of three Dutch campaigns† by M. C. Yzer, F. W. Siero, and B. P. Buunk. The research was designed to establish the effectiveness of Dutch safe sex campaigns that were run between 1994 and 1996. There were several metrics being measured, â€Å"improved attitudes, perceived social norms, self-efficacy and intentions regarding safer sex (Yzer, Siero & Buunk, 1999)The methodology of the study was to use a representative sample of the Dutch population and then ask them to answer electronic questionnaires where you could not advance through to the next question without answering previous questions in order to minimize missing data. Each participant was issued a unique PIN number in order to further identify the participants. There were also five waves of questionnaires, and an individual participant could be eligible for more than one of these waves, however, they could only participate in one wave.The PIN numbers were also used to e nsure that there were no duplicate participants from wave to wave. These methods were also employed to exclude testing effects, history effects, cultural changes and sample differences as alternative explanations for the data collected. (Yzer, Siero & Buunk, 1999) The questionnaires measured attitudes towards safe sex practices, social norms , â€Å"self-efficacy† (Yzer, Siero & Buunk, 1999), and whether or not the participant intended to engage in safe sex practices in the future.The key results in this study were that while the initial levels of positive attitudes and practices of safe sex, there was indeed room for an increase in those metrics. The increases were the most steep immediately after a campaign aired, but that uptick did not dip below the previous level but maintained over time. It was also shown that increases were not always across the board in every category during every campaign. There were different effects that depended on which campaign was aired.When sp lit out into separate categories, â€Å"self-efficacy was enhanced by the 1994 campaign, and that intentions were enhanced by the 1994 and 1995 campaigns. To summarize, all target variables were generally more positive with respect to safer sex after a campaign than before. † (Yzer, Siero & Buunk, 1999) The thesis of the experiment was the following: 1. Attitudes, social norms, self-efficacy and intentions would become more favorable towards safer sex in response to each of the 1994, 1995 and 1996 campaigns. 2.In the period of time after the 1996 campaign when no campaign was conducted (but in a similar time interval as between the 1994 but in a similar time interval as between the 1995 and 1996 campaigns), attitudes, social norms, self-efficacy and intentions would become less favorable towards safer sex. (Yzer, Siero & Buunk, 1999) The data showed that after the campaigns were aired, that all of the measured areas showed an increase both short-term and long-term. They also noticed that there was a quick uptick in positive feelings shortly after a campaign was aired.Overall, the campaigns served to uphold and enhance already present social norms and attitudes towards safe sex and safe sex practices. The conclusions of this study also confirmed the conclusions of a study done in Germany that evaluated German safer sex campaigns. How this relates to the issue of what effect sex and violence on television effects children is that there is here a strong relationship between media messages and future behavior and that this relationship is related to amount of exposure to the message.It was already well established that there was an agreed upon corollary between violence seen on television and violent behavior, however, this study shows that the relationship is also built on frequency of exposure to the medium. Additionally, there can be changes in different areas over time, which shows the diversity of how media messages influence people and how that influe nce can be different while still present. Critical Analysis of Internet Information and Research Study In â€Å"It’s not all sex and violence† by Agustin Fuentes, the information provided by Dr.Fuentes is factual and points out that human beings are diverse and complex beings driven by a variety of things. The overemphasis on sex and violence in media is pervasive and dangerous to how we see ourselves as human beings. The amount of cooperation, joy, sharing, etc. that human beings do far outweigh the amount of violence we engage in as a species. However, we as a species are also fascinated with sex and violence and seek out that information – drawing focus towards it, rather than acknowledging their purpose and role in life and placing it among everything else in life, maintaining perspective.The evidence that is used is a walk through the development of human societies and what scientists know about the behavior of our ancestors and the results of primatologica l research with social behavior of primates. He shows that the majority of the behavior that we engage in is positive and helping behaviors, rather than negative behaviors. The strength of the evidence is weak, but the piece is intended to be an emotional appeal that includes appeals to the intellect. Because of the rhetorical mode of the piece, this is to be expected and does not immediately remove it from consideration as a good source of information.In â€Å"Can public campaigns effectively change psychological determinants of safer sex? † there is a great deal of factual evidence supported by strong evidence with a reasonable and intelligent analysis of the data gathered from their research. The strength of the evidence is significant, especially in light of the inclusion of the information that a German study came to similar conclusions. â€Å"Mass Media Effects on Violent Behavior† is a research study that gathers a number of different research studies and provid es that data along with the conclusions of the author.The information is good and because of the amount of provided data, the reader can see where the author’s conclusions came from. Because of this article’s appearance in a peer-reviewed journal, it can be assumed to be a trustworthy source of information with strong evidence supporting its conclusions. Conclusion In answer to the specific question as to whether or not sex and violence on television is harmful to children – there is no simple answer. Through looking at the evidence, there is an undeniable effect of what people see on television and their future behavior, but that link is not causal.The factors that exist in order to drive an individual to violence are difficult to measure due to basic problems with creating appropriate test trials, the complexity of human nature, and the overwhelming amount of input that everyone has on a regular basis. A worthwhile avenue for research would be to measure expos ure to specific stimuli in media messages and whether or not it’s the amount of sex and violence that someone is exposed to that is the deciding factor in future behavior. Another avenue would be to do a longitudinal study of children of ifferent socio-economic backgrounds to see what other factors exist (exposure to violence in daily life, attitudes about sex, etc. ) along with measuring how the child is interpreting the media messages that it is exposed to along with the frequency of that exposure. It would be holistic, but perhaps prohibitively complex and long term to execute. What remains unknown is what the full impact of media messages on children is, there is an effect, that’s undeniable, but that effect is clearly influenced by a variety of factors and may only be a reflection of what the child has already learned elsewhere.References Bushman, B. (2013). Why do people deny violent media effects?. Psychology Today, Retrieved from http://www. psychologytoday. co m/blog/get-psyched/201302/why-do people-deny-violent-media-effects Felson, R. (1996) Mass media effects on violent behavior. Annual Review of Sociology, 22, 103-128 . Retrieved from http://www. jstor. org. libproxy. uml. edu/stable/2083426 Fuentes, A. (2013). Busting myths about human nature. Psychology Today, Retrieved from http://www. psychologytoday. com/blog/busting-myths-about-human- nature/201302/it-s-not-all-sex-and-violenceWalker, M. (1983). Some problems in interpreting statistics relating to crime. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 146(3), 281-293 . Retrieved from http://www. jstor. org. libproxy. uml. edu/stable/2981656 Yzer, M. C. , Siero, F. W. & Buunk, B. P. (1999). Can public campaigns effectively change psychological determinants of safer sex? An evaluation of three Dutch campaigns. Health Education Research, 15(3), 339-352. Retrieved from http://her. oxfordjournals. org/content/15/3/339. full

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