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Children and the Media A look at the history and future of televised violence For some children under some conditions some television is harmful For other children under the same conditions or for the same children under other conditions it may be beneficial For most children under most conditions most television is probably neither particularly harmful nor particularly beneficial W Schramm J Lyle and EB Parker Television in the lives of our children Stanford Stanford University press 1969 Schneider 66 In the early years of television broadcasting nobody was aware of the risk of violence on television instilling aggressive behavior in children It was not until 1961 and 1964 that studies were conducted by the Senate subcommittee on juvenile delinquency After surveying the content of many television programs the committee found merely that the extent to which violence and related activities are depicted on television remains greater than it was a decade ago The committee also stated that such television content produced antisocial behavior in juveniles and confirmed what psychologist Frederic S Werthman stated in his book Seduction of the Innocent that television was becoming a school for violence Carter 11 In 1968 President Lyndon Johnson appointed a national commission on the causes and prevention of violence due to many riots and assassinations of the middle 1960s Carter 12 These early studies were the beginning of a future of censorship on television however no surmountable action was taken until the Surgeon General issued a report in 1972 fueled by a letter from Senator John Pastore Carter 2 Pastore sent a letter to the Secretary of Health and Welfare in 1969 that stated the he was exceedingly troubled by the lack of any definitive information which would help resolve the question of whether there is a casual connection between televised crime and violence and antisocial behavior by individuals especially children Carter 2 That same month President Richard Nixon sent
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