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Theories of Media Audiences and their Varied Interactions with Media Texts The Media has increasingly started to plague our viewing pleasure with violence and graphic images of sex and derogatory fields of violence With the advent of mass media including television and more recently video and computer games children and teenagers are exposed to increasingly higher doses of aggressive images In many countries there is an average of five to ten aggressive acts per hour of television Violence among youth is also on the rise making it plausible to correlate the two even though we believe that the primary causes for aggressive behaviour in children are to be found in their family environment and the social and economic conditions in which they are raised MEDIA AND VIOLENCE STUDY Media heroes Answers to a standardized set of 60 questions inquiring upon media behavior habits preferences and social environments showed a fascination with aggressive media heroes especially among boys Arnold Schwarzeneggers Terminator is a global icon known by 88 of the children surveyed be they from India Brazil or Japan Asked to name their favorite role models boys most frequently named an action hero 30 while girls opted for pop stars There are regional differences Asia showed the highest ranking for the former 34 Africa the lowest 18 with Europe and the Americas in between 25 More interesting is how children in difficult situations identify with such heroes whether as compensation or as an escape 51 of the children from war or high-crime environments wish to be like him as compared to 37 in the low-aggression neighborhoods Overlapping worlds A remarkable number of children from both groups 44 report a strong overlap in what they perceive as reality and what they see on the screen Many children are surrounded by an environment where real and media experiences both support the view that violence is natural Close to one third of
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