Many studies show that violence in cartoons effect children’s behavior. Cartoons such as Toy Story, Scooby Doo, or Tom and Jerry all show children that violence is funny and acceptable behavior. Children are unable to determine the difference between right and wrong, and are very likely to imitate what they see. When a child’s hero such as Batman throws someone through a wall, the child copies what they see because someone they respect does the same thing.
Violence in children’s television is believed to cause the child to be more aggressive and violent. Children start to believe that it is okay when they see their superhero use violence to solve problems. According to Diane Levin and Nancy Carlson-Paige, the authors of ‘The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Teachers Voice Concern’, teachers “reported seeing an increase in violence as children imitated what they had seen on the screen”. Children who imitate what they see on television shows may hurt others and themselves by imitating stunts they see their role-models doing on the television.
Power Rangers are actors who play the role of everyday teenagers that get rewarded for their violent acts. Teachers and parents reported that “many children say they want to grow up and be a Power Ranger” (Levin and Paige, 2003), not realizing that what they are seeing is fictional. Teachers also reported that “children were confused over whether or not the Power Rangers were pretend or real” (Levin and Paige, 2003). This becomes a problem because then children believe that this behavior is real and that its acceptable.
Many parents are under the impression that if a movie or show is rated G then it is acceptable for their young children to watch it. What they don’t realize is that movies rated G are just as violent as movies that are rated PG. They also may not realize that their child may be too young to understand the actions they are seeing. Most parents do not realize that “without an adult to help children articulate what they’re seeing, stories can be disturbing or can desensitize them to consequences of real violence” (Dickinson, 2000). Most Disney movies, which parents think are armless, include sword fighting, blowing people up, or the classic hitting someone on the head with a frying pan. Some people do not believe what the research shows. A few parents ignore the current beliefs and note that “research indicates that young children have limited comprehension of television content but have relatively sophisticated moral reasoning” (Blumberg, Bierwirth, and Schwartz, 2008). They also state children “understand the immorality of violence on television and the distinction between reality and make-believe”.
In conclusion, there are studies that show the relationship between cartoon violence and aggressive behavior in children viewers. Some are against the studies and believe that children can distinguish what is real and what is pretend. It is safe to say that children should be supervised while watching cartoons to ensure that they understand the difference between real and make-believe. However, educational programs such as Barney or Sesame Street are not violent and are still considered safe for young viewers.
When researching the results of violence in children’s cartoons I used Google, Yahoo, and Bing search engines. There were more than 3,000 searches found when using these sites. There were sites that had blogs, magazine articles, university studies, and parenting advice columns. While looking through the results of the search, I cancelled out those which came across as opinions instead of studies. This is how I decided which sites were credible and which ones were just people ranting and stating their opinions for the world to hear.
Three credible sources I found were www. book. google. com which showed facts and statistics which I felt seemed pretty credible. Another site was www. time. com which had an article that talked about studies which have been done on the subject. The last credible source I used was www. springerlink. com which talked about arguments that disagreed with the other studies. I did not use sites that were blogs like thoughts. com, which was an angry mother ranting about a particular experience. I came across another uncredible source, www. tomandjerryonline. om, which stated it was an opinion and an editorial. The last uncredible source I found was www. topics-mag. com which was a collection of reader responses on the subject.
Reference List Credible: Levin, D & Carlson-Paige, N. (2003). Gender, Race, and Class in the Media. http://books. google. com/books? id=Mh2PWvtzNFUC&pg=PA359&dq= gender+race+and+class+in+media:+a+text-reader+power+rangers& hl=en&ei=G_qpTNriMdL9nAft5NCyDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result& resnum=1&ved=0CC4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false Dickinson,A. (June12,2000). ViolentCartoons. www. time. com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,997149,00. html Blumberg, F. & Bierwirth, K. & Schwartz, A. (August, 2008). Early Childhood Educational Journal: Does Cartoon Violence Beget Aggressive Behavior in Real Life? www. springerlink. com/content. g29nw6878017k142 Uncredible: www. thoughts. com www. tomandjerryonline. com/theviolence. cfm www. topics-mag. com/readers. media-violence-forum. htm