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Television can have a powerful influence in developing value systems and
shaping behavior for children. In the United States children watch an average of three to
four hours of television daily (Cantor & Wilson, 28). Unfortunately, much of today?s
television programming is violent. Studies of the affects of television violence on
children and teenagers have found that children may become insensitive to violence.
Consequently, they tend to gradually accept violence as a way to solve problems by
imitating the violence they observe on television; they identify with certain characters,
good or bad. Therefore, extensive viewing of television violence by children causes
greater aggressiveness (Rosenthal).
Not all television is bad. There are several excellent programs dedicated to young
children. Some programs incorporate entertainment and education to help children learn
and identify characters, shapes, and colors. Programs such as Blue?s Clue?s and Sesame
Street also help promote good behavior and cooperation. Dr. Ernest Boyer, President of
the Carnegic Foundation for the Advancement of teaching and former U.S.
Commissioner of Education, stated: ?Television sparks curiosity and opens up distant
worlds to children. Through its magic, youngsters can travel to the moon or to
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