How Mass Media Encourages Deviant Behavior in Children
The role of media as relates to deviance and crime has always been an issue of concern for our society. Deviance and crime remain to be a universal problem, and with media being a driving source in modern culture, mass communication experts continue to carry out studies to know more about the connection that exists between media and crime. There is developing concern about how various television and film lead to degenerate conduct, particularly among youngsters. This gives off the impression of a connection between media and brutal acts in early university and senior year of secondary school. This essay assesses how mass media encourages deviant behavior in children through content that depicts and sometimes glorifies deviance.
Mass media Glamorizes the Disrespect of Women
Music and films showcased on television have many destructive and negative themes. Some of the common themes that diminish self-esteem and glorify violence against women include suicide, alcohol and drug abuse, violence, sex centered on sadism, control, incest, and masochism. Music videos depend on sexual content to catch the attention of their audiences. This is because sex sells. In music videos, women are often more than men and in most cases, there is an instant attraction between the men and women and sex happens rather quickly without courtship (Xie, Gai, & Zhou, 2019). Sex gratification for men takes center stage which encourages men to view women as sexual objects. Essentially this mocks the respect and compassion of women. Men no longer show their maleness by protecting and taking care of women but by ganging together and abusing them. We are dealing with sexuality on new levels which encourage tolerance to violence and sexual predation. Rappers like Eminem have increased the category of weak to including gay people and family members. In his songs, he portrays and celebrates himself with misogynistic attitudes of homophobia. Eminem is frequently rapping about killing gays and lesbians and killing or beating women. In the lyrics of his song She’s The One, he fantasizes about killing his girlfriend who he refers to as the ho as well as his mother. The portrayal of women in this light goes beyond violence and sex and it leaves an impact on its audience. The audience picks up the same attitude which makes them begin to treat women with disrespect.
Mass Media Influences Self-Image
The current hip-hop media culture portrays images that showcase the artists and models as a group of outsiders. The hip-hop cultural movement started among Latinos and African Americans in the Bronx of New York City in the early 1970s and since then, it has spread across various races and many parts of the world (McCaghy, Capron, Jamieson, & Carey, 2016). The standards hip-hop fashion was characterized by baggy jeans, long chains, hip-hop, doo-rags, loose clothing, and charms and today, they are worn by actors and artists. The American youth today also emulate the dress code of hip-hop artists. Further, youth today also display hip-hop culture in their speech and gestures. This display is a symbol of rejection and alienation of definitions of cultural values and behavior that is socially acceptable. This legitimizes and fosters anti-social behavior which evokes social behavior from individuals and groups that do not abide by norms. The rejection solidifies the self-definition of a group and deviant behavior such as sexual predation, violence, threats, disrespect, and breaking the law become signs of a group or personal identity. This is evidenced in many videos and movies including New Jack City which talks about drug-related violence in the history of rap in many cities across America. In Kanye West’s song, We Don’t Care, children join Kanye in singing about drugs and violence.
Mass media, particularly films and music videos have been linked with deviant behavior among children. There is developing concern about how various television and film lead to degenerate conduct, particularly among youngsters. Deviance and crime remain to be universal problem. Music and films showcased on television have many destructive and negative themes of suicide, alcohol and drug abuse, violence, sex centered on sadism, control, incest, and masochism. The American youth today also emulate the dress code, speech and mannerisms of hip-hop artists and as a result, they end up showing deviant behavior.
McCaghy, C. H., Capron, T. A., Jamieson, J. D., & Carey, S. H. H. (2016). Deviant behavior: Crime, conflict, and interest groups. Routledge.
Xie, X., Gai, X., & Zhou, Y. (2019). A meta-analysis of media literacy interventions for deviant behaviors. Computers & Education, 139, 146-156.