A study of pre-school and primary school children shows that violence in cartoons does not guarantee the increase of viewer’s interest (Murray 1226). The experiment involved 128 children aged 5 to 11 (gender ratio was 50% to 50%). The scientists offered children to watch a five-minute cartoon, designed specifically for the study, which had four versions: the first one contained six scenes of violence involving two characters, the second one had already nine scenes, and the two remaining cartoons contained practically no cruel scenes. According to the study, the boys more prone to violence by nature mostly reacted negatively to the scenes of violence, because they identified themselves with the characters, and the more violence was on the screen, the less positive emotions the cartoon left. In turn, the girls did not show such a clear negative attitude to cartoons, but felt that the characters who commit acts of violence on the screen refer to the male half of humanity, although the primary and secondary gender characteristics were missing in these characters. Both boys and girls liked puritan cartoons which contained fewer scenes of violence.
In general, psychologists believe that cartoons and movies with scenes of violence or horror as well as advertising between them in any form are contraindicative for children under 6-7. Unfortunately, all of these are present on our screens from early morning till late evening. Therefore, the question of parents “Well, should we now completely prohibit a child to watch TV?”ť is also quite reasonable. It is surely impossible, and the usefulness of this is also questionable. On the other hand, there are today a huge selection of positive and tested films, cartoons and enrichment programs for children, and generally, a TV-screen may be seen as a welfare, progress and development of a child, though factored in strict dosage and strict control of parents.
All responsible parents do not want their children to face physical or sexual abuse. At the same time, they thoughtlessly subjected their own children to psycho-emotional violence and aggression behavior patterns through allowing the uncontrolled watching of cartoons, most of which contain violence scenes, while it is so easy to avoid their negative influence. Above all, a mandatory rule for parents is that they should watch films, cartoons and programs themselves before allowing a child to see them, and be able to clearly define the target age and safety/usefulness levels, as for instance, there are a lot of cartoons which are not worth looking at the age of 5-7, but are safe to look at 10-13.
In case a child already shows aggressive behavior and gets easily excited, television should be removed from one’s life in 3 hours before bedtime, and the amount of time spent at the TV-screen during a day should be dramatically reduced, and cartoons containing any kind of aggression should surely be removed. In serious cases, television watching can be fully prohibited for the time of curing courses. In any case, the meaningless pastime spent front of the screen being substituted by hiking, sports, developing classes, socializing with friends and parents, bring much more effective results than learning behavior patterns from cartoons, as the life of a child becomes much brighter, more full, true, and not illusory.