In today's society, media is evident on every street corner, store front, and in every home in a multitude of formats, that include print, the Internet, or television. Now, with the constant widespread exposure of media in the public, violence and sex are forced into the daily lives of people. Since society is now afforded far more leisure time than what was once available prior to the technology boom, there is an ever increasing amount of media exposure that youth are subjected to on a daily basis. An American child spends one-third of each day of the year, with one form of media or another and there is seldom ever any sense of parental guidance or oversight at the time of exposure (Brody). The media exposure of both violence and sex affects youth negatively by desensitizing them to violence, promoting violent behavior, and increasing promiscuity.
The tie between violence and media carries a negative connotation. Media violence on American television is uniquely accessible and pervasive. Violence on television is frequent, usually inconsequential, and often rewarded. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that by 18 years of age, the average child will have witnessed nearly 100,000 acts of violence on television. If only 10 percent of these acts were to be considered highly violent, the average child would be exposed to 555 highly violent acts per year or an average of approximately 1.5 per day (Media, 798).
When violence is portrayed on television it is often rewarded without any true repercussions. Youth are then allowed to think that violent acts will not lead to any negative consequences, nor will other people be affected by their actions without illustrations of consequences, violent behavior can be deemed acceptable, causing youth to imitate what they see in the media.
The majority of people first begin viewing television at a very young age and more than often the first program viewed is a cartoon. Cartoons use characters, acts, or situations which portray violence in a humorous way so the outcomes do not come off as abrasive (Televisions Impact). These real life situations are portrayed as humorous and are then in reality looked at with inadequate compassion. Author of, "Television's Impact," states, "Although cartoons come off as laughable and innocent because of the appealing characters, the cartoons, in fact, desensitize youth to the real life situations that may be encountered with." The necessary judgment or emotional tools required to address these real life situations is skewed.