ABSTRACT: The study investigated the influence of violent movies on adolescent social behaviour. Gerbner once said that heavy Tv viewers will cultivate the perception of reality portrayed by the television i.e Heavy viewing of violent film among children and adolescent tend to arouse violent behaviour or attitude in children. The study was anchored on cultivation theory, aggressive cue theory, and catharsis theory. A survey research method was adopted in which 200 respondents majorly children in primary 3 – 6 were drawn using an accidental sampling technique. questionnaire was used to elicit responses from respondents. 193 copies of the questionnaire were retrieved upon which the analysis revolved. The data collected were analyzed and interpreted using the Descriptive Statistics (frequency and percentage) method . It was recommended that parents should as a matter of fact monitor the television viewing habits of their children and determine their watching hours and contents.
Keywords: VIOLENT MOVIES
1.1 Background to the Study
Media effect has been one of the dominant issues in mass communication, psychology and other related disciplines particularly on how it affect children. Various researches and theories have offer ample evidence stating that mass media is affecting our perceptions and attitude. There is consistent evidence that violent imagery in television, film, video, and computer games has substantial short-term effects on arousal, thoughts, and emotions, increasing the likelihood of aggressive or fearful behaviour in younger children, especially in boys (Kevin and Catherine, 2014).
Anaeto, Onabanjo and Osifeso (2008) in Gerbner, et. al. (1976) posit that heavy Tv viewers will cultivate the perception of reality portrayed by the television, adding that heavy tv viewing, no doubt, distorts our perception of the world we live in, making it seem more like ‘an utopian world’. Similarly, Aggressive Cue Theory by De Fleur et. al. (1998/1975) cited in Anaeto, Onabanjo and Osifeso (2008) established that telvision is a source of aggressive cue, it increases aggressive behaviour in audience members.
Aggression is usually defined by behavioral scientists as behavior that is intended to harm another person. Common forms of aggression are physical (for example, punching), verbal (for example, saying or writing hurtful things to another person), and relational (for example, intentionally and publicly not inviting someone to a party to harm his social relationships).
Violence usually is conceived as more extreme forms of physical aggression that are likely to result in physical injury. The most extreme form of violence is homicide, but any form of aggressive behavior that is likely to result in an injury serious enough to warrant medical attention is considered violence. Thus, fights involving weapons as well as fistfights by adolescents old enough to be able to inflict serious injuries are considered acts of violence.
The relation of these terms to violent “crime” requires some comment. The vast majority of media violence research focuses on aggressive and violent behaviour as defined earlier. Violent crime is a much more restrictive category and is applied only in cases where someone has been arrested for a crime classified by police as a major crime against persons, such as murder, rape, and assault.
U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (2005) reports that youth violence resulting in deaths and injuries has direct and indirect costs in excess of $158 billion each year. Only accidental injury (frequently auto accidents) consistently leads homicide as the cause of death of U.S. youths between one and twenty-four years of age. For youths between the ages of ten and twenty-four, homicide is the leading cause of death for African Americans, the second leading cause for Hispanics says U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (2007)
Young people not only suffer but also commit a disproportionate share of violence. Although twelve- to twenty-year-olds made up about 13 percent of the U.S. population in 2005, they were responsible for some 28 percent of the single-offender and 41 percent of multiple-offender violent crimes. (Anderson,2003).
Therefore, Film is a story recorded as a set of moving pictures to be shown on the television or at the cinema. It is also a roll on shut of flexible plastic that is sensitive to light for the use of in photography. According to Cook (2007) Films are made up of sources of individual images called frames. When these images are show rapidly in succession, a viewer has the illusion. Film as medium of mass communication has its major role to play in the society which to educate, entertain and inform the audience.
However, for the purpose of this research, film will include all movies on CD, DVD, Download online, watch on youtube, Smartphone, violence game, television violence programme, etc which are sources of violence to adolescents. It is against this background the research examines the influence of violence and criminal sences in movies on the the aggressive behaviours of Youth in Nigeria with a view to knowing the extent to which watching violent films are eliciting violent behaviours in them.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The audiovisual nature of the film has the capacity to influence the attitude, behaviour, thinking, and socialization of an individual from childhood to the adult stage. The popular assertion “See is believing” makes film, television, and videogame messages more accepted, persuasive, and very influential.
Children tend to behave based on what they see on the screen either on television, computer game, video-gate, etc particularly watching violent cartoons, and films on do stick to the psyche of children.
Thus, the research examines the influence of violent and criminal scenes in movies on the aggressive behaviours of Youth in Nigeria with a view to knowing the extent to which watching violent films are eliciting violent behaviours in them.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- To examine the extent at which adolescents and youths in Eket are exposed to violent films.
- To examine whether youth are cultivating the violence and crime scenes seen on screen.
1.4 Research Questions
- To what extent do adolescents and youths in Eket exposed to violent films?
- Do youth cultivate the violence and crime scenes seen in films?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The research will benefit parents and guardians on how to upbring and train their children instead of living such trainning to television, films, games etc by determining not only what they watch but also the extent they are being exposured it. Also, the findings of this research will serve as a good literature for both researchers and students who may want to carry out similar or related research in the future.
Media houses will also learning how to schedule their programmes and know the nature of the programmes to be televised during the day by putting violent shows at the odd hours. NBC, Nigerian Film Censor Board and other government agencies will benefit as it will keep them alert on the need to censor what is considered violence and other things that can corrut the mind of the minnors.
The study will be very useful in identifying the extent at which western violence movies, game and tv programmes are being deposited in our society.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The scope of the study has been limited to Kings College and Kidvac Secondary School pupils in both the junior classes to the senior classes. The two schools are selected because of the proximity, inadequate fund, time and logistics to move round many schools in Eket community, Akwa Ibom state.
However, the democraphy of the respondents in the two schools is studied before the structuring and administration of the data collection instruments (questionnaire) to reduce the level of error.
1.7 Operational definition of terms
Violence: this refers to the exposure of adolescents to various activities on tv, films, games that are cruel, dangerous, deadly, which include crime scenes, kidnapping, massacre etc
Youths: These are the people whose age fall between 18-30.
Social behaviour: This refers to how Kings College and Kidvac Secondary school pupils relate with their peers within and outside the school.