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THE IMPACTS OF SEX AND VIOLENCE IN THE MASS MEDIA

1.0 INTRODUCTION
Sex and Violence are common occurrences in the media and with the available
exposure kids have to media, their behaviours, perception and personalities can be easily
influenced and distorted. Sex and violence are far closer than we would like to believe.
And from a neurological perspective, the two seem to be mor connected than even most
hardened cynic would expect. The portrayal of violence, sex, and drugs/alcohol in the
media has been known to adversely affect the behaviour of children and adolescents
Sex at least for humans, this most basic of acts is anything but basic. As the
pioneering sex researcher Alfred Kinsey put it, the only universal in human sexuality is
variability itself. Within the universe of intimacy and pleasure that sex affords, however,
there's a lot of room for error. From the behaviour itself to our sexual identifications and
associations, sex never fails to be a provocative topic. Most people are affected by sexual
problems at some point in their lives and safety of the body and mind is always a concern.
Though the global jury may remain hung over sex's moral and political implications, we
can all come to at least one consensus: It's why we're alive today and it's the first thing
future generations depend on.
Violence is defined by the World Health Organization as "the intentional use of
physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a
group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury,
death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation", although the group
acknowledges that the inclusion of "the use of power" in its definition expands on the
conventional meaning of the word
Violence can be divided into three broad categories:
self-directed violence
interpersonal violence
collective violence
Violent acts can be:

physical
sexual
psychological
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emotional

2.0 SEX AND VIOLENCE IN MEDIA


What media is reaching the children
In todays society, the average child watches four hours of television every day; listens to
music between four and five hours; and plays video games up to seven hours a week.
1) Television
Watching is a favourite activity for kids; however, T.V. alone is estimated to be
responsible for motivating at least10 percent of youth violence. Although
some stations contain ratings for shows, it is important to keep in mind they

are not always age appropriate.


Most people believe there is too much sex on television. A survey conducted
in 1994 found that seventy-five percent of Americans felt that television had
too much sexually explicit material. Moreover, eighty-six percent believed

that television had contributed to a decline in values.


Sex on television is at an all-time high, so we should be even more careful to
screen what we and our families see. Parents should be concerned about the

images we see on television.


At a very young age, children are seeing a level of violence and mayhem that
in the past may have been seen only by a few police officers and military
personnel.

TV

brings

hitting,

kicking,

stabbings,

shootings,

and

dismemberment right into homes on a daily basis.


Television habits established at the age of eight influenced aggressive
behaviour throughout childhood and adolescent years. The more violent the
programs preferred by boys in the third grade, the more aggressive their
behaviour, both at that time and ten years later. He therefore concluded that
the effect of television violence on aggression is cumulative.

2) Video game
are the most heavily marketed and consumed games. Exposure to violent
video games is has shown to increase levels of aggression in both young
adults and children.
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Childrens greatest exposure to violence comes from video games, young


children to a level of violence unimaginable just a few years ago. The
American Psychological Association says the average child watches eight
thousand televised murders and one hundred thousand acts of violence before
finishing elementary school. That number more than doubles by the time he

or she reaches age eighteen.


Some scientists propose that particular conditions, for example antisocial
personality disorder, may determine those who are most at risk of carrying out

violent acts after playing video games.


A study by the Minneapolis-based National Institute for Media and the Family
suggests that video games can be addictive for kids, and that the kids'

addiction to video games increases their depression and anxiety levels.


Furthermore, people predisposed to violent behaviour may be at greater risk
of being adversely affected by the playing of violent video games than others.

3) Music
Throughout history the human populous has been attracted to music. Whether
it be part of a ritual, an emotional release, religious reasons, or just for
listening pleasure music has been at the centre of our society. We have used
music to express ourselves, tell stories, and let others into our thought.
However, we often wonder what we are saying has an effect on the listening

audience.
From 1990s references have often been made to link violent and deviant
behaviour to music and certain music genres. Some such genres include but
are not limited to, heavy metal, death metal, rap, gansta rap, alternative music
and hard-core. During, he last decade we have seen music lyrics become more

and more violent and sexually explicit.


While many argue that this is dangerous for children to hear we know that
modern day teenager often faces violence, drugs, suicide, pregnancy and
other aspects of this music. We find that lyrics may be dangerous to a child
wwe must ask ourselves whether the child fully understand and comprehends
what the artist is saying. Teenagers often do not understand what are being
said, and they all had varied comprehension as to what the message was. It
could be argued that if the lyrics were not included in the artists booklet then
the audience would never know what was being said.

Today sometimes contains very explicit lyrics that often reference sex, drugs,
alcohol, and violence. Heavy metal and rap music are known to glorify
violence and some artists have been charged with violent crimes in real life,
which can distort childrens views of the real consequences that follow certain
behaviour.

4) Social Media

Through the increased use of social media such as, Facebook, Twitter,
Instagram and Youtube, an individuals profile, photos and status updates may
provide enough information for hat person to become a potential vicyim of

stalking without being aware of the risk.


As a tool, social media offers unprecedented reach. While it can be used
effectively for violence prevention work, it can also be used for violence.
Some use social media for online sexual harassment, sexual assault threats,
sharing intimate material without consent, recording or distributing images of
sexual assaults, cyber stalking, digital dating abuse and luring sexual

trafficking victims.
Research into sexual violence and social media tells us that, we know little
about the sexual nature if online abuse and harassment. A majority of sexual
violence associated with social media goes unreported. Abusive relationship
patterns may be facilitated or maintained through social media. While we have
only preliminary information about victimization, young women and girls
appear to experience higher rates of sexual violence associated with social
media.

3.0 DANGERS OF EXPOSURE TO SEX AND VIOLENCE IN THE MEDIA


Younger children tend to model behaviours they see and dont always understand the
difference between reality and entertainment; therefore, exposure to sex and violence
through the medias influence can:

Cause aggressive or anti-social behaviour. Media can promote aggressive


behaviour and can also influence children to believe violence is a good solution to
solve problems.
Create a false sense of reality. Young children cant always discriminate between
real life situations and behaviours and surreal television examples.
Encourage irresponsible sexual activity. Kids exposed to sex on TV are almost
twice as likely to initiate sexual intercourse.
Cause a child to perceive the world as more dangerous and have a darker view
about the world.
Desensitize and cause a lack of empathy for human suffering.
Distort expectations of conflict resolution, race and male-female relationships.

4.0 HOW TO PROTECT YOU CHILD FROM THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF THE
MEDIA
Media is everywhere but there are ways to help protect your children from the harmful
effects:
Monitor what your child is watching.
Set limits on their exposure to TV, radio and video games.
Talk with your child about what they see and hear. It might be awkward but if you
dont talk to them, the media may be their only other source of information.
Help them develop realistic perceptions of the roles sex and violence have in
society.
Encourage activities other than watching TV or playing video games that allow
them practice pro-social behaviour.

5.0 CONCLUSION
Media is one of the most effective ways of communicating and reflecting social
norms. Unfortunately, when it comes to sexual violence, mainstream media is guilty of
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promoting ideas and behaviours that sustain a rape-prone culture. Whether its confusing
violence with passion, seeing women purely as sex objects, or suggesting that sex drive is
an out-of-control animal force, TV shows and movies consistently excuse and justify
sexual violence. Television viewing affects both adults and children in subtle ways. We
must not ignore the growing body of data that suggests that televised imagery does affect
our perceptions and behaviours. Our worldview and our subsequent actions are affected
by what we see on television. By approaching sexual violence with such a light attitude,
media implies that the issue is not one that deserves respect or attention. sex and violence
are at an all-time high in the movies our children watch, the music they hear, and the
games they play

6.0 REFERENCES.
1. https://www.probe.org/sex-and-violence-on-television/
2. http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/child-adolescent-psychiatry/violence-media-whateffects-behavior
3. http://rense.com/general59/teens.htm
4. http://qz.com/678186/theres-a-neurological-explanation-for-the-link-between-sexand-violence/
5. https://www.scanva.org/support-for-parents/parent-resource-center-2/sex-andviolence-in-the-media/