In my opinion, there is an extreme amount of violence portrayed in cartoons. As a result, cartoons have been transformed into a fast expanding epidemic that is damaging to the audience of cartoon viewers throughout the country, and possibly around the world. Not only are cartoons physically violent, they are emotionally, mentally, socially, legally, and culturally attacking at human society of the past, present and future. During my extensive research, things that were observed were almost all types of cartoons I have ever come across, as well as expert’s ideas, parents intuition and how children react. Modern research and statistics done on the subject could reinforce most of their information. Among the cartoons observed were cartoons based in the past, present and future while also including cartoons from different countries. The reasoning behind this was that cartoons play a part in all children’s lived around the world wherever they watch them.
The most important and potentially the most dangerous influence that cartoons have on children is that fact that cartoons fail to instruct and teach viewers which are children, the lessons of respect and morals while the children are still at a young age. (Hardesty a4) Unfortunately, the lessons that cartoons do teach children are socially unacceptable, extremely dangerous, and in some cases can be fatal. A good part of the cartoons viewed during research had several examples of situations that were very verbally humiliating or abusive. At the same time, these same cartoons were mentally and physically abusive as well. Mostly all of the negative actions performed within these programs were performed without any “real” consequences. Experts agree that it is crucially important to drill morals and the potential consequences of everyday situations to children while they are still young. At such a young age, children are susceptible and vulnerable human beings. Haplessly, cartoons counteract against a child’s perception of things in the real world. They can even be socially damaging if taken too seriously. (clifford 24)
Cartoons give children a false sense of immortality. Many cartoons act out the death of a character only to have the same character in perfect health only minutes later or in the next episode. These actions cause many children to have a distorted sense of mortality, almost instructing a child to think that death is temporary and not to be taken seriously. (palmer 45) Many times, cartoon characters seem invincible. This can lead to trouble especially jeopardous when a child looks up to, or views a cartoon character as a role model, as most children seem to do.
The average American child spends 30 hours in front of the television weekly. A majority of this time is spent watching cartoons. (vos post) with so much time invested into watching violent animated programming, it tends to rival with the amount of time a child spends in school during a week. It is believed that a child’s mind emphasis is placed on what they observe throughout the majority of the day. Which tends to be a negative affect on the child do to cartoons. (kunkel b4) Considering these facts, one could come to the conclusion that cartoons could possibly be damaging to a child’s education.
In 1997, juveniles caused 27% of serious violent offenses. (vos post) Though it is not possible to say that cartoons influenced the minds of these offenders, it seems to have played some part. No one really knows whether or not if editing cartoons would have played a part in limiting or preventing these crimes. Hopefully in the future, censoring some parts of cartoons or any programming could result in limiting, neutralizing, or decreasing the severity or amount of serious violent juvenile offenses.
Through careful observation and thorough viewing of cartoons in the entire world, Japanese Animation, popularly referred to as “anime” would prove to be the most violent and the most sex oriented. Amime even has some instances where nudity is involved. Situations like these are not necessary to show in cartoons that children watch. Actions such as these would cause a child to be put in a situation where they are watching something beyond their mental and physical capacity.(palmer 37) Women are often shown with body parts enlarged or enhanced by illustrators for some reason. Several anime programs seem to portray women in correctly and teach children to disrespect elders mostly being women. This is also another problem in our society today.
Though the number of juvenile offenders and offenses vary depending on the country, most countries have a drastically lower number of crimes committed by minors then the US. It could be due to the fact that children in the US watch the most television.(dantzler) It seems as though cartoons are a bad influence on children. It is not proven that cartoons cause violence, but it is a shame that they could be apart of the problem. All children should be monitored so that they don’t watch the wrong things on television. The cartoons and children’s programming should be edited and monitored by the people putting it on also.
Clifford, Brian R. Television and Children: Program
Evaluation, Comprehension, and Impact. Hillsdale, NJ: L.Earbaum associates, 1995
Dantzler, Burt. Personal Interveiw 23 Nov. 2000
Hardesty, James. “Epidemic of youth Violence”. USA Today
30 Jun. 1999
Higher Education. Jan 1997 21+
Palmer, Edward L. Television and America’s Children
Vos Post, Jonathan. Cartoons that Hurt 12 Mar. 1995