An increasing concern is the high rate of violence displayed by the youth of today’s society. Indeed, we are living in an age where violence has become a way of life. We have, in fact, become a culture of violence. Within the past three decades, there have been countless examples of man’s inhumanity to man. Humans have more than proven themselves to be an aggressive species. With the exception of rodents, no other vertebrates so consistently and meaninglessly kill members of their own kind.
Aggression is defined as an intentional behavior aimed at causing physical or psychological harm or pain to others. Aggression may be an act stemming from feelings of anger aimed at inflicting pain or injury, or it may be an intention to hurt another person with the hurting taking place as a means to some goal other than causing pain.
For centuries there have been disagreements over whether this aggressiveness is an innate, instinctive phenomenon or whether such behaviors are learned. However, one of the world’s leading experts on human aggression, Leonard Berkowitz, among many others, believe that learning plays a very important role in human aggression. In fact, many studies have been done to prove indeed the amount of violen
In these experiments, not only did the children imitate the aggressive models, but they also engaged in other forms of aggressive behavior after having witnessed the aggressive behavior of the adult. In young children, the process of socialization takes place very rapidly providing them with skills that carry over into adult life. The now nineteen year-old boys who had watched a great deal of violence on television at a younger age were more aggressive than those who had not. In a related case, Margaret Hanratty Thomas and her collogues have demonstrated that viewing television violence can consequently numb the reactions of people when they are faced with real life aggression. In fact, television has become perhaps our single most important source of information. Indeed, viewing violence desensitizes children to further acts of violence, and violence is a way of life on many television shows. Unbelievably, the frequency of violence increases on the Saturday morning cartoon shows, which averages more than 25 violent acts per hour. Viewing the initial violence desensitizes children to further acts of violence. Both during and after the week of the film showings, the boys who viewed the aggressive movies displayed more physical and verbal aggression. Because young children may be unaware that films are make-believe, they may not able to separate it from their own lives. With the increased viewing of television as a means of socialization, the result is a culture of violence. While television is only one of the mass media that affect children"tms behavior, it is certainly the most influential. In fact, a 1992 estimate held that by the age of eighteen years children have watched 40,000 murders on television, and the number is steadily rising. This evidence suggests that violence on television is potentially dangerous, in that it serves a model for behavior- especially for children.