In view of delinquent behavior there must be a definition and applicable theory to first aid in deciding what causes such conduct as it is seen through the advocacy of television. As Torr states, four different television companies conducted their own tests of which the result stated that, “…no evidence that violence on television causes aggressive behavior on viewers” (Torr 35). Although the biases of these studies are quite clear in that their initiation was conducted on part by a committee team whose future hinged upon violence on television not advocating violence in society.
Although this paper focuses more on the amount of violence by which children are exposed and reproduce that by no means suggests that such violent acts are limited by age. In fact, violence on television, both socially and psychologically can be attributed to any age demographic. Also these studies conducted by such companies as NBC and CBS did not consider other factors in their variables. CBS researchers conducted an eight year study on a group of 1,500 young English men. The cultural differences of violence are staggering (Strasburger 21).
ABC stated that television violence was a matter that does not need to be issued any concern (Torr 35). Furthermore NBC’s study suggested that aggressive behavior in teenagers and children were correlated but the study was later re-examined and this evidence in numbers was said to be insignificant (Torr 35). In Hirschi’s book Causes of Delinquency (2002) there are presented three different theory types in regards to delinquent behavior. These theories have applicable grounds, by which the delinquent acts out, as Hirschi states, Three fundamental perspectives on delinquency and deviant behavior dominate the current scene.
According to strain or motivational theories, legitimate desires that conformity cannot satisfy or force a person into deviance. According to control or bond theories, a person is free to commit delinquent acts because his ties to the conventional order have somehow been broken. According to cultural deviance theories, the deviant conforms to a set of standards not accepted by a larger or more powerful society. (Hirschi 3) The idea of conformity is a major part of the decision process of whether or not a child becomes a delinquent. In fact, conformity to whom is the major question presented by each theory.
The conformity to a society should discipline a child into model behavior while the conformity to a gang, or group of friends whose lifestyle consists of criminal acts is merely another form of orthodoxy in that particular group. Juvenile delinquents may conform to a group and think to themselves that they are merely not conforming to society; in either direction acceptance by a group is understated. The media undoubtedly displays influences on behavior. The amount of violence shown on television is directly related to the amount of violence being conducted in the real world (Strasburger 106).
Although the previous tests done by television conglomerates try to state otherwise their self interest is involved in people continuing to watch television in which case it is bad press to admit that television viewing causes aggression, when, in all veracity, it does cause violence (Strasburger 10). As proof of this argument Congress in the 1990’s issued television violence rating codes; through the act of omission from the government, the argument of media violence causing real world violence is proven (Campbell 96).
This act of Congress known as Senate Bill 332 states that , “…require manufacturers of television sets to install electronic circuitry that would make it possible for viewers to block out programs with certain ratings” (Campbell 96). Thus, the idea of self-policing initiates the fundamental concepts of the argument that media violence causes real world violence. Self-policing and the government initiating control are omissions that clearly state that there is a problem in television violence whereby the watching of certain programs illicit aggressive behavior (Strasburger 19).
In the conformity of either gang or community the underlying current of thought for the delinquent is desire as they have been exposed to such lifestyles on television. Their desire to be a part of something and be accepted by that larger group is the impetus towards deliberating behavior. Humans are creatures whose desires propel them on towards actions, whether or not those actions are legitimated by society or a gang is not concerting but rather a person sometimes feels that their desires are above the law, and when that desire is about acceptance, many formal rules are broken, as Hirschi states,
Having thus established that man is a moral animal who desires to obey the rules, the sociologist was then faced with the problem of explaining his deviance. Clearly, if men desire to conform, they must be under great pressure before they will resort to deviance. In the classic strain theories, this pressure is provided by legitimate desires. A man desires success, for example, as everyone tells him he should, but he cannot attain success conforming to the rules; consequently, in desperation, he turns to deviant behavior or crime to attain that which he considers rightfully his. (Hirschi 5).