Feb 28, 2012

Media Violence harms Children.

By Punhal Pirzada

Q. ‘Your school is holding a declamation. The topic is ‘Media Violence Harms Children’. Write two speeches, one speaking for the topic and one speaking against it.’


Respected judges and my fellow students, good afternoon. The topic is very interesting as violence has always been a part of media. Ask anyone, and they will probably tell you that their favourite movies did have a fair share of violence in them. But today, ladies and gentlemen, we are here to debate over whether violence harms children or not.
Before I establish my case for this topic, answer this – if you had children, would you be content with your child viewing adult content? The answer is, no. Pornography has negative effects on an individual’s mentality and can shape that individual for the worse. This is exactly why individuals under eighteen cannot view it. Now apply the same logic to violent content. There is a reason why censorship boards have such strict regulations that disallow individuals under thirteen from watching movies that are full of violence.

Children are at a relatively delicate stage of their lives. You can nurture their minds and help them distinguish between what is right and what is wrong, or they can end up as thugs and criminals when they grow up in life. By exposing them to violent media, we are clearly misguiding them. More often than not, we see these children replicating the violence we see in movies, on television and in video games. In Tokyo, a twelve year old boy by the name of Sam, a huge fan of the ‘Grand Theft Auto’ video game franchise, was found responsible for the deaths of over twelve people when he tried to emulate the killing spree he was used to carrying out within the video game.

Furthermore, studies have suggested that children who are exposed to violence will not only grow up to become aggressive adults, but will also neglect the values and traditions that their parents spent years trying to transfer. If we seek to have a generation that can coexist peacefully, we must acknowledge that media is truly detrimental to children and we must shelter them from violent content. Thank you.


Honourable judges and my esteemed opponents – good afternoon to all of you. Now moving straight to the topic, I personally firmly believe that it is very interesting that most people believe that children should not be exposed to violence in media. I will urge my opponents to try and logically accept my argument with an open mind, as I seek to establish my case.

The first misconception that is important to clarify is that all violence portrayed in media is shown positively, and that the media endorses the very use of violence. This, ladies and gentlemen, is absolutely false. The portrayal of violence is not all about blood, gore, torture, death, suffering and weapons. In fact, media usually talks about how violence is actually bad for society, and how we should seek alternatives! What we see in most Jackie Chan and Chuck Norris movies does not endorse violence as a means of spreading anarchy in society by any means. These movies often show violence used on the protagonists’ part merely in interests of self-defense, or retaliation. What we all must acknowledge is that it is very important to teach children that they do have the right to self-defense, especially in a world like todays.
Furthermore, I personally see nothing wrong with acquainting children with violence as a sad reality of life, because whether we like it or not, violence I everywhere. In our daily lives, we see people exerting disproportionate force against one another, and we have learned to accept it. We can either convince children that life is all about rainbows and butterflies and then wait for reality to hit them like a bullet train once they get older, or we can acquaint them with reality and teach them when it is okay to use violence, and when it is not.
Besides, violence in media is usually what makes media more interesting. Let us take the popular children’s animated show – Pokémon. Yes, it has its’ fair share of violence, but it has also brought millions of children together, kept them entertained and given them a childhood to remember for when they grow up. Personally, as a child, I played the game ‘Street Fighter’. Yet here I am in front of all of you; civilized and full of good memories from my childhood, and I definitely did not degenerate into a street fighter myself.
Therefore, I reiterate that excessive censorship is not required. Violence in media is not bad for children, but it can actually help them in their practical lives. Thank you.


Post a Comment