(entirely cite from who’s thing : Pascual M. Garcia IV’s draft of the speechs for tv debate) Let me start this debate by defining the key terms of the definition. By “tv” I mean an electronic device that allows the broadcasting of audio and visual content to a mass audience; in this debate, also all the programs shown on this device, either through regular channels or on cable, at any time of day or night. By “negative effect” I mean has many harmful effects, which outweigh whatever good effects there may be, so the net result of tv is bad. And by “society” I mean all tv viewers, as well as all citizens in countries with tv, but with special emphasis on the youth. I in the Affirmative believe that tv is doing much more harm to our society than good, and I will prove that to you in this debate. I will prove this by focusing on 2 key arguments: tv has unacceptable levels of sex and violence that cause harm to viewers, and is a significant tool of rampant commercialization, which victimizes its viewers. As the 1st round for the Affirmative, I will focus on how tv has unacceptable levels of sex and violence, while in my 2nd round I will discuss how it is a tool of rampant commercialization. I believe that tv causes harm to viewers because of its increasingly suggestive sexual and violent content. The viewing public, especially the youth, are susceptible to messages being shown on tv, and this kind of content is extremely damaging for our youth, in particular.
According to Changingchannels.org, more than a thousand studies have shown the same thing: “media violence makes our kids more aggressive, less patient, and more fearful of the world around them.” I can see that tv encourages young viewers to commit acts of violence. In 1 study done at Pennsylvania State University in 1972, about 100 preschool children were observed both before and after watching tv; some watched cartoons that had a lot of aggressive and violent acts in them, and others watched shows that didn’t have any kind of violence. The researchers noticed real differences between the kids who watched the violent shows and those who watched nonviolent ones. “Children who watch the violent shows, even ‘just funny’ cartoons, were more likely to hit out at their playmates, argue, disobey class rules, leave tasks unfinished, and were less willing to wait for things than those who watched the nonviolent programs.” says Aletha Huston-Stein, Ph.D., now at the University of Kansas. This is unacceptable because we are struggling to build a more peaceful society, and the media, especially television, is only aggravating a difficult situation. Studies by George Gerbner, Ph.D., at the University of Pennsylvania, have shown that children’s TV shows contain about 20 violent acts each hour and also that children who watch a lot of television are more likely to think that the world is a mean and dangerous place.
Tv also encourages young viewers to have sex outside of marriage, and this has led to many social problems. The Kaiser Family Foundation(2001) has reported that 80% of the content presented on soap operas is sexual in nature. Bryant and Rockwell’s study found that teens that had been exposed to a highly sexual TV drama rated descriptions of casual sex encounters less negatively than teens that had received no sexual content exposure. Brown and Newcomer found that students who think tv accurately portrays sex were more likely to be dissatisfied with their first experience with intercourse. This means that our children are being encouraged to view pre-marital sex as both natural and desirable, and that their expectations for sex are unrealistic. Furthermore, according to Changingchannels.org, tv desensitizes viewers to the evil nature of pre-marital sex and unprovoked violence, encouraging young viewers to find them acceptable and normal in society. The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research found that “Televised violence suggests to young children that aggression is appropriate in some situations, especially when it’s used by charismatic heroes… It also erodes a natural aversion to violence.” The same study found that children who watched violent tv programming.” … were also more likely than other study participants in the previous 12 months to have shoved somebody in anger; punched, beaten or choked an adult, or committed a crime or a moving traffic violation.”
The University of California at Santa Barbara, on the other hand, says “In one study of soap operas, there was only one representation of a married couple engaging in sex for every 24 portrayals of unmarried characters performing sexual acts.” It cites another study which finds that “The bulk of the sexual action and language occurs between unmarried characters… unmarried heterosexual characters engage in sexual intercourse 4 to 8 times as much as married characters.” Several studies, including those by Brown and Newcomer in 1991, link increased exposure to the mass media with dissatisfaction with virginity among teenagers. There are many other studies that show a similar effect. Wingood’s study of black women aged 14 to 18 revealed that adolescents who see X-rated movies have less favorable attitudes toward condom use than other teens. All of this is conclusive proof that tv leads to greater violence and pre-marital sex in society, and this is leading to further erosion in the values of our youth that will cause greater social problems for society in the future. If we truly want to build a more mature, responsible society, we must provide our youth with messages that affirm this kind of maturity and responsibility. Showing unacceptable levels of sex and violence on tv will only harm our efforts to improve society in the long-run. I urge you to agree with the Affirmative, and to let this motion fall, for children’s sakes, and the and the future of our society. Thank you.