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The media has been proven the main source of violence and aggressive behavior shown by children in modern culture. Censorship programs have been used to determine the effect of children’s exposure to violent films and messages. The following is an argument on the role of the media and television in the social life of an individual irrespective of age, gender, sex, or religion. In order to discuss the validity of cultural censorship in children, two programs were selected. These are the Sesame Street and The Best of Families. The most significant theory used in this discussion is the cognitive theory which describes the behavior of people when exposed to certain situations.

Censorship refers to the suppression of a speech that may be considered harmful, sensitive, or socially incorrect when determined by a media outlet or a government. Governments, private organizations, or individuals who engage in self-censorship conduct censorship programs. Although many countries provide a restriction against censorship, it is important to strike a balance of conflicting rights in order to determine things that can be censored and those that cannot.

This discussion will argue that the media and television play a great role in the social life of an individual irrespective of age, gender, sex, or religion. Censorship programs have been used to determine the effect of children’s exposure to violent films and messages. Censorship programs have the ability to influence children positively or negatively. In order to discuss the validity of cultural censorship in children, two programs were selected. These are the Sesame Street and The Best of Families.

Text 1: This is about the “Sesame Street” children’s censorship program


The following discussion focuses on a research-driven children’s censorship program, Sesame Street, with a focus on encouraging children to learn through media. The main issue of the importance of this program in shaping the future lives of children in America. Censorship was done in order to research the validity of cultural censorship in children’s media.



I totally agree with censorship campaigners on Petley’s text in the fact that such violent cases shown on television have little effect on older people because they bear the capacity to sustain such disturbing images. The Sesame Street program made children aware of all the ill effects associated with some of the messages portrayed in the media and gives suggestions to parents on how to take care of their children. On the other hand, children are at a greater risk of facing the consequences of irresponsible social behavior caused by media ignorance.


This argument is signified by the fact that cultural censorship in children’s media studies is supposed to provide children and their parents with advice on how to avoid irresponsible social behaviors caused by the nature of advertisements and programs shown in the media. The introduction of children television in America was aimed at providing them with the necessary education knowledge and skills. The Sesame Street program never used violent films to censor children because Petley understood the negative effect of introducing children to horror films. People chose what they want to watch and what they believe in, but the media has neglected this issue. In addition, the level of socialization depicted by an individual and what they pass through influences their actions and eventually, reflects into someone’s mind after getting the consequences.


For example, Barker and Petley argue that the media plays a significant role in conducting campaigns about the need to protect children. The only critical issue is that the same media who are so much concerned about children’s protection needs are the same people who end up airing such violent films and videos (Barker and Petley 1997; 95-99). In this program, it is argued that even if children use media and technology, they are not in a better position to distinguish between evil and good messages. Children require a set of programs that will enable them to ask essential questions about what is acceptable to see, listen to, and read in the media.

Explaining the Sesame Street censorship

The following support this argument. Firstly, every individual must possess conscious awareness and reasoning about the prevailing situations. Horror movies characters are terrifying and violent signifying that a person viewing such a film is carried away psychologically and thinks in the same manner as movie actors. In some instances, a child develops much anger and hurt his friends due to his aggressive nature learned from watching violent films. These reactions emerge from assaults and sufferings a person goes through while thinking of the others suffering in the movie (Nevid 2011). The experience prepares a child for his future tasks related to terrifying and inhuman acts such as warfare, torture, and assassinations. In addition, the behavior portrayed in movies make psychologists term such individuals as mentally challenged. Their physical look totally matches the menacing behavior forcing other children to fear them (Barker and Petley 1997; 113).

The above example supports my point on the importance of introducing the Sesame Street program. Firstly, mass media plays a significant role in shaping people’s lives in modern culture. People irrespective of age and sex are disturbed constantly by messages from media sources including television, magazines, radio, and other media sources. These messages have the capability of promoting not only the product but also introducing some ill effects to viewers (Barker and Petley 1997). Young people, especially those in their teenage stages, are in a critical translation period in relation to civic and political socialization. Children’s participation in various activities such as playing games, watching movies, and listening to certain media programs stimulate their long-term engagement where family and education experience contributes to the social process. The influences received from such media facilities act as a building block of social capital, which includes an individual’s participation in social activities (the University of Maryland Libraries 2001).

In addition, the media houses are to blame because they do not take into consideration the negative effects such films have on children. Cultural censorship discussed in the class indicated that the effect of watching violent and horror films also creates mixed reactions in children who come from backgrounds where they are highly protected. The question of violence in the media and its ill effects on children is the most widely researched area. Studies dating back to the 1970s show that media violence has the capacity of increasing the risk of aggressive behavior in children. Other dangerous effects include desensitization to the pain and suffering of others making them fear the world. Cline, Croft, and Courrier however, contradict with this arguing that desensitization of children takes place when a child is exposed to violent and horror films for a long time (1973; 363).

The Sesame Street program also provides a prove that media has changed the behavior and reactions of children toward their parents, teachers, and colleagues. Children learn a lot from watching films on the television depending on the amount of time they stays watching per day. The study conducted concerning the Ill Effects led to a number of behaviors portrayed by children, which are possibly learned from the media. A medium that is supposed to be teaching children how to behave well in school is the same that exposes them to films that make them disrespect their elders (Barker and Petley 1997).

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The perspective given in the cultural censorship program on the ill effect of media claims that all behaviors are learned and there stands a chance of modifying them through a system of reward and punishment. Children in the class expressed certain behaviors that made teachers term them as carefree persons who never minded about their own welfare. On the cultural censorship in children’s media studies, some measures of aggression were used that make it acceptable that media has a stake in the character of children.


As demonstrated in this argument, the validity of cultural censorship in children’s media studies in the classroom depends on the nature and type of censorship program. Sesame Street forms one of the programs that play a role in shaping the behavior of children. Even though media violence introduces children to arrogant behaviors, the ignorance of parents and the society in taming their children by preventing them from accessing films and videos with acts of violence and the responsibility of the media in conveying certain messages that changes the attitude of viewers. From the above discussion, it is clear that a lot of debate comes along with the role of media concerning the violence and aggressive behavior found in children.

Text 2: This is about the “Best of Families” children’s censorship program


This discussion will focus on the Best of Families children censorship program and its negative effects on the life of children. The program was thought to have a huge impact on children’s behavior because it portrayed how long-term television viewers end up changing their behavior. The program was chosen in relation to the effect of the amount of time a child spends watching films with violent acts on desensitization. Victor Cline, Roger Croft, and Steven Courier from the University of Utah carried out the research to evaluate the effect of time spent by children on television on their behavior.



Based on the cognitive perspective on human behavior, it does not matter how many violence-based films a child has watched because the results are the same. The Best of Families program exposes children to many violent acts and does not provide any moral support. The media is to blame because they never care about the negative effects this program brings to children.


Censorship campaigners argue a lot about who is at great risk when such cases of television violence occur in media facilities. Children suffer the most because what they see might end up changing their behavior toward their peers or family members. The opinions given on this program are not true and worth noting.


The situations shown on this program are a bad expression to children. The program uses a story of divorced parents who ended up portraying violent behaviors to their children making them develop fear and arrogance towards their friends.


Irrespective of the type of age group exposed to violence, whether children or adults, media contributes to all these evils. The courts of criminal justice have many debates involving the responsibilities of media ranging from videos, books, and disturbing advertisements. Media has even gone a step ahead to disregard the bible teachings on the effect of disturbing images and actions on the mind of a viewer. The Best of Families censorship program should face a ban or make it more presentable to children.

There have been various domains of influence associated with media content shown on television, which have negative effects on children. These include aggressive behavior, body image, self-esteem, and violence (American Psychological Association 2002). The actions portrayed in films are not generally a representation of an individual’s behavior and the media should educate children on how to avoid such unacceptable behaviors. Television representatives should include a brief history of the film before showing it to restrain children from assuming certain characters. A good example is the World Wide Entertainment (WWE) which always warns viewers from trying anything seen on the screen at home, school, or anywhere else (Cline, Croft, and Courrier 1973).

The Human Centipede 2 film presents an example of the negative effect of social isolation. Social interaction between children provides sensory stimulators that result in short and long-term memories. The type of film used in this film created a sense of fear in viewers. The entire movie coverage takes place in the darkness leading to the curiosity and tension of viewers. If at all adults fear watching this movie, what about children whose level of sustaining certain memories is low? Memories are essential in child development because it gives a child a chance to share with others, a factor that the Best of Families program fails to address. Too much isolation and exposure to violent television programs result in a child having evil minds and having a desire to behave in the same manner as what she saw on television (University of Maryland Libraries 2001).

The research on the desensitization of children to television violence shows the effect children have on exposure to long-term or short-term exposure to violent films. The study outcomes showed that children who are heavy television watchers might end up desensitized to violence. The study used the films The Bank Dick and The Champion which depicted the violent acts of actors. The producers of such movies always dictate the age limit of people supposed to watch the movies, but the ignorance of parents and the media contributes to the exposure of such films to children. In the real world, experience provides a valuable resource that assists in developing an informed citizen. The public affairs media has the power to enable people to work together in building the nation. However, not all media facilities influence people positively. Television is one of the media facilities that have the capacity of inducing negative effects on viewers (Cline, Croft, and Courrier 1973).

There has been a controversy among legislatures, media executives, education officials, parents, and sociologists on the role of media in determining the social behavior of people. Different people have varying opinions depending on the type of level of influence, but the bottom line is that all parties agree that media forms a permanent part of modern culture. Such programs like Best of Families should not be used to censor children because they make them more arrogant and violent.


As this paper has demonstrated, the Best of Families Children censorship program does not deserve to be used to mentor children. This can be seen from the fact that because children demonstrated irresponsible behavior and become more aggressive following the actions shown in the program. In addition, children’s isolation from their peers can be seen as one of the major causes of change in behavior. Secondly, the responsibility of parents towards their parents might affect their behavior. A child could be watching violent movies for a long time but with correct guidance, it creates no effect on their behavior.

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