Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cause and Effect Essay: Influence of Media on Youth

We, as a part of the Information Age, are exposed to different kinds of media- TV, audio, and print types of media. We should be aware of how media affects the youth so we can limit ourselves from too much exposure to media. The purpose of this essay is to show the influence of media to youth in relation to body image, sex and violence.

Advertisements or some TV shows raise the standards of women and men on how they should look like. Media influence men and women to get the "perfect body shape" by using models. This is verified to be true because according to "Media Influence on Youth", (n.d), a study shows that 69% of girls are influenced by magazine models. These are models in billboards that show a "perfect body". One example is Angel Locsin posing for a Folded and Hung billboard. A lot of people can see this especially the youth, for they are one of the target markets of media. According to "Media Influence on Youth", (n.d), by the time a girl turns eight years old, she becomes weight conscious. 80% of nine year olds start dieting and since 1970, eating disorders have grown by 400%. This only proves that media has a big impact on the youth today. According to Witmer (n.d), teenage girls, who are the target of media, see the idea of thinness as a beauty. This will cause eating disorders and some even turn to smoking for weight loss. ("Media Influence on Youth", n.d)

Media also expose sex. Movies and TV shows people who are doing it, just like from the local movie, "And I Love You So" which shows a lot of sexual scenes. A lot of teens are exposed to these kinds of movies. Even though some movies only show kissing and flirting. These are still forms of sexual acts. Three out of four say that "TV shows and movies show sexual scenes that it may seem normal for teenagers to have sex." ("Media Influence on Youth", n.d) Also, music videos contain more sex per minute than any other media. The youth loves watching those videos and this will have a great effect on how sex may affect them. Print media also deliver the message of sex; for example, the ads for Guess. A lot of their billboards show a black and white picture of a man and a woman, close to each other. There is an intimate connection between the models. These pictures have topless models, unzipped pants which clearly suggests sex.

Media show violence to children especially boys who loves seeing action movies like the ones with superheroes. According to Mediascope National Television Violence study, children exposed to violence develop aggression, desensitized by the violence around them and fears of being a victim of violence. In TV shows and media, there is always a good guy and a bad guy. On TV, 73% of the time, the perpetrators go unpunished and this develops a message that violence is a successful method in resolving conflicts ("Media Influence on Youth", n.d) Exposure to media violence is related to aggression, anger and a negative effect on helping behavior (Bushman 2006). Children learn violence simply by just imitating after observing. If the child sees that the violence shown in media is real, then there would be a greater impact. The child will be more aggressive and more violent.

Media is said to affect the youth by exposing "perfect bodies", sex and violence. Children tend to imitate what they have seen on TV shows and movies and apply them in real life. Teens develop eating disorders to attain the "perfect body". Furthermore, sex becomes normal for teenagers to do because of media. Also, children become aggressive and angry when exposed to violent media. These are just some ways on how media can affect you. However, you can still help your child avoid becoming what media expose. You can educate your child on what media is trying to tell them. Show them the health risks of being thin and tell them how these ads are edited by Photoshop. Tell them the right way in dealing with these types of media and convince them to be contented of what they have. For kids that are exposed to violence, tell them that violence is not the solution for everything. Rather, it should be done through conversation not confrontation.

References:

Children and Media Violence. Retrieved March 17,2010 from http://www.mediafamily.org/facts_vlent.shtml

Media Influence on Youth. Retrieved March 17,2010 from
http://www.crisisconnectioninc.org/teens/media_influence_on_youth.htm

Witmer, Denise. How Does Media Affect Body Image in Teens. Retrieved March 17,2010 from
http://parentingteens.about.com/od/bodyimage/f/media_bodyimage.htm

Reflection:

In this essay, I used a lot of references. The essay was based from the references I got and of course, my opinion. It was not easy to make this essay. The topic is very interesting that is why I had to research more about it. I did not know that the media has this great impact on the youth.

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