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Violence in the Media Results in Increased Incidence of Teen Violence Essay

Television, movies, and music are playing major roles in most (if not all) of the lives of teenagers. Although teens may feel that they are meant to entertain, these media deeply affect their minds and think and react to various situations. So how can they possibly be dangerous? They are only sources of unrealistic entertainment. In my opinion, television, movies, and music are definitely responsible for teen violence today. First, teenagers may think it is “cool” to do what people do on television.

If they enjoy watching violent crimes being committed on TV, wouldn’t it be even better if they were actually doing it themselves? Next, rap music which is a favourite of teenagers has extremely violent lyrics. By constant exposure to these lyrics, teenagers may be inclined to play them out in real life. Finally, teenagers may condone violence in movies. After all, if your role model is committing violent acts and getting away with it, why shouldn’t you? Unfortunately, this is the mentality of some teenagers. Although research in the field is incomplete, it is clear that these high-risk factors, combined with others, will lead to teen violence.

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Teenagers may have fantasies of attempting the violent -yet “cool”- things they observe in movies. For example, in a 1995 movie, ‘Basketball Diaries,’ Leonardo DiCaprio was a student dreaming of going on a shooting rampage in a school. Michael Carneal, a student at Paducah High School, saw this movie and did the same thing in real life. When interviewed by reporters, he said, “1It was like I was in a dream, and I woke up…”(Joo-Lee). Michael Carneal probably thought it would be a great experience if he went on this shooting rampage. However, it is very likely that other factors also played a significant role. Teenagers develop violent behavioral patterns from their families and peers.

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They also observe it in their neighbourhoods and communities. One of my friends from public school told me he learned to fight from some of his older friends, who were members of a street gang. These examples clearly show how media is responsible for teen violence. Next, many teenagers usually listen to music every day. “2On average, they spend between 4 – 5 hours listening to music or watching music videos.” Heavy metal and rap music emphasize violence, and unfortunately, these are some of the popular types of music.

An enormous amount of teenagers listen to rap music (primarily known as “Gangsta Rap”) which involves a lot of lyrics about the shooting, killing, fighting, etc. “3Studies have shown that when students listen to a lot of rap music, they are more accepting of violence. 66% of 13- to 17-year-olds believe violence in music is partly responsible for violent crimes.” This shows that some types of music will penetrate a teenager’s mind causing them to become more violent. Some popular rap singers have been charged with violent crimes in real life. This should send a strong message to all teenagers that listen to violent music. This is another example of how media contributes to teen violence.

Finally, most teenagers spend more time sitting in front of the television than spending time with their family. As a result, there are many violent shows on television. If a teenager has a role model committing violent actions on TV, they may accept this as normal behaviour. “4Nearly 75 percent of violent scenes on television feature no immediate punishment for or condemnation of violence. Also, 40 percent of programs feature “bad” characters that are never or rarely punished for their aggressive actions.” I find this to be quite true, after watching TV for over 10 years.

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After viewing a violent TV show, teenagers might be fooled into thinking that they could easily get away with a crime. This would seem unrealistic to some. However, combined with economic and psychological issues, this is quite possible. Many teenagers are in families that are struggling economically. If some of them have seen a drug dealer making thousands of dollars on television and getting away with it, the idea of becoming a drug dealer would instantly appear in their minds. This is yet another example of how media has a huge impact on teen violence.

Violence in movies, television, and music is deeply affecting the minds of teenagers. There is strong evidence to support that exposure to violence in the media results in an increased incidence of teen violence. Personal experiences from various teenagers who have committed crimes confirm that these factors played a major part. Organizations dealing with these issues have accepted that violence in movies, television, and music is ultimately responsible for teen violence and are now working with the media to control this.

  1. “Teen violence” WENDY HUFFMAN 1989-2000 <>
  2. “Youth and Violent Music” Media Scope 2000 <>.
  3. “Youth and Violent Music” Media Scope 2000 <>.
  4. “Youth Violence prevention” Media Violence Facts and Statistics <>

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Violence in the Media Results in Increased Incidence of Teen Violence Essay. (2021, Sep 15). Retrieved February 6, 2023, from