The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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February 23, 2001 Issue
Local News

Violence, sex affect youth

Contest winner discusses how the media influences the lives of young people

Editor's note: Fr. Vanden Borne Knights of Columbus Council 4489, Kimberly-Combined Locks, sponsored an essay contest on "Morality in the Media," for seventh and eighth grade students. Here is the first place winner for the seventh grade. You can also read the eighth grade winner's essay.

By Gretchen Reider

Two ways in which I have found that the media influences young people is through violence and sex. A lot of young people watch television or play video games. They often think that what happens on television shows and video games are the cool things to do. Young people might think that it is cool because someone they see is a star or someone they look up to is doing it.

Young people see violence happen a lot. Violence can mostly be seen in movies or video games. I think that video games affect kids greatly because along with the young adults and teenagers, there are young children playing these games too.

Most kids who play the violence-related video games often take things from that video game and act them out in real life. In movies there is a lot of action involving killing and gun use. Teens or younger children might act out a scene from a movie or video game in a pretending way, but you never know when a kid will take these ideas seriously.

Movies also have sexual ideas. Sex is displayed and able to be seen by younger people more than ever. They may not see so much the real act of sex, but things that lead to it. Many times people see things and because they see them on television think that those actions are OK. They think that sexual actions are okay with God and the way life is.

Also, today a lot of music related things have to deal with sex and focusing on women wrongly. I think that this should definitely be changed because so many kids and young adults love music and are very interested in it. Young people very easily get those wrong ideas filled in their heads.

I hope that in the future sexual actions are taken off from channels and those young adults that don't know the difference between right and wrong actions will not play video games.

(Reider is a seventh grader at Holy Name School, Kimberly.)

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