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Impact of Cartoons on Children’s Behavior

Impact of Cartoons on Children’s Behavior

Television programs that are targeted towards children, such as cartoons, can affect children in both positive and negative ways. I examined a variety of cartoons on both commercial and public television to observe the content of children’s programming and determine the effects, both positive and negative, that programs have on children. The cartoons contain a wide variety of subject matters that can influence children in many different ways. I found that the majority of cartoons choose to use violence and inappropriate subject matter to entertain children. These images and stories can have a tremendous negative impact on children because the violence is rewarded without consequences, is glorified, and idealized. Children look up to the characters that have a negative impact by distorting their views on conflict resolution. There are, however, cartoons that contain little or no violence and often try to incorporate educational lessons that concern values and morals that are important for children to learn, thus having a positive impact.

“Dragon Ball Z” is an example of a cartoon that has a negative affect on children because of the use of violence. This particular episode was aired on Thursday, October 18, 2001 on a public broadcast station in High Point, NC. The show introduced a group of terrifying monsters that were considered to be the bad guys. Their bodies were many different sizes and colors and they were shown in a big, dark dungeon surrounded by lightning. The good guys were a group of 5 humans who were the main characters. They were seen as heroic and strong and their main goal was to find and defeat the bad monsters. Both sides plotted against each other and trie…

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…aracter as a hero or winner with no consequences for violent actions and also make violence seem humorous and fun. There are also cartoons that contain no inappropriate conflict. These cartoons influence children in a positive way by dealing with issues of friendship, sharing, and creativity. Cartoons contain a wide variety of subject matter and deal with issues of harmful violence and constructive values and therefore, can affect children in both positive and negative ways.

Works Cited

Teperman, Jean. “Toxic Lessons What Do Children Learn from Media Violence?” Children’s Advocate newsmagazine. Online. Accessed October 23, 2001.

American Psychological Association. “Violence on Television. What Do Children Learn? What Can Parents Do?” APA Online. Accessed October 23, 2001.

Media Violence and the Violent Male Adolescent

Media Violence and the Violent Male Adolescent

My research led me to form some new hypotheses on the correlation of violence in the media, namely television, movies, and video games, to the rise in violent behavior in adolescents. For this essay, I will focus on male adolescents. I will use multiple lenses for my research to (1) establish the increase in violent acts by adolescents in the past two decades; (2) use proven research to show the impact of media violence on the individual; and (3) to illustrate my “recipe for disaster,” four correlations that contribute to the effects of media violence on male adolescents.

Rise in Youth Violence

According to the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”), (1999) in a committee report, “The number of juvenile violent crime arrests in 1997 exceeded the 1988 level by 49%. Of that number, 2,500 were arrested for murder and 121,000 for other violent crimes. Eighteen percent of high school students now carry a knife, razor, firearm, or other weapon on a regular basis, and 9% of them take a weapon to school.”

The Committee report noted that a principal cause for the increase was media violence.

” Eighty-seven percent of American households have more than one television, and 88.7% of homes with children have home video game equipment, a personal computer, or both. An average teenager listens to 10,500 hours of rock music during the years between the 7th and 12th grades. By age 18 an American child will have seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence. Television alone is responsible for 10% of youth violence. A preference for heavy metal music may be a significant marker for alienation, substance abuse, psychiatric disorders, suicide ris…

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…f, Senate Committee on the Judiciary, “Children, Violence, and The Media,’ (online document) A Report for Parents and Policy Makers. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Utah, Chairman, 1999, Sept. 14, Available (

Mediascope Press, “How Violence Manipulates Viewers.” Issue Briefs. Studio City, Calif.: 1997 Available: (

Putnam, Robert, “Bowling Alone” America’s Declining Social Capital, Journal of Democracy; 1995, Jan., (pp. 65-68)

Strasburger, Victor C. M.D. Chief, Division of Adolescent Medicine, “How much influence do the media have?” Adolescent Medicine; State of the Art Reviews–Vol. 4, No. 3, October 1993 Philadelphia, Hanley

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