Cultivation Effects


Studies have shown that there has been an increase in the amount of television viewing especially among children, teen and young adults. This has been attributed to the fact that the programmers in this modern age have turned to provide what they perceive this group of people would be inclined to view. According to Paquette, Gosselin and DeGuise (1997), most of the cartoons that are classified among the leading in violence. This is because most of these cartoons have the greatest percentage of violent scenes that are mostly designed suitable for boys. George Gerbner came up with several effect of heavy and light television viewing. There are more effects beyond those identified by Gerbner and they shall be the topic of discussion in this essay.

Tendency Toward Violence

The number of cases that keep being reported on violence is alarming. In Canada, due to an increase in the number of cases that had been reported concerning violent acts by people especially those in urban areas, a law was formulated to help the media houses re-program their programming to try to reduce the cases (Paquette, Gosselin and DeGuise, 1997). It was noted that this was brought about by an increase in the amount of content coming from America, which is recorded, to be leading in violent television programming (Paquette, Gosselin and DeGuise, 1997). This tendency can be seen since there is increase in aggressive behaviors like hitting, pulling hair and clothes, and kicking among others (Wagner, 2004).

Approval of Violence

It is not very clear why the society is turning to approving violent behaviors but it is happening (Paquette, Gosselin and DeGuise, 1997). In the works of Heath and Petriatis (1987), it is noted that the society slowly developed the attitude that growing up in urban regions means becoming relatively violent to fit within the different groups that are formed. In as much as people who commit crimes do that mostly outside their region of residence, there is a sense of security that exists that their neighborhood will remain relatively safe depending on their geographical specification. People are not quite afraid that they will be attacked but rather they are afraid due to the truth presented on television about the region.

Perception of the Justice System

The kind of justice system that is presented on television shows that there is an increase in corrupt dealings in the justice system such that people have lost confidence in the justice system from their perception (Paquette, Gosselin and DeGuise, 1997). This is the same kind of perception of police work who constantly violates the rights of the accused persons by shooting at suspects, kicking suspects and refusing to Mirandize the suspect. In addition to that, there is increasing tolerance that is evident as far as punitive justice is concerned (Paquette, Gosselin and DeGuise, 1997).

Looking at the above key effects identified, it is evident that there is sure increase in the effects. The main attribute is that there is excessive viewing of inflammatory and psychologically arousing content (Wagner, 2004) on television programming. But can a solution be found? To answer this, more research needs to be done. Maybe involving girls with technology at a tender age could help greatly to design cartoons that are girl-inclined that will reduce the violent content presented. There is a great problem that people have in that they are not in position to differentiate acting and real life violence. This, according to this researcher is attributed to the fact that the film industry has devised ways of making the film work appear real to the audience.


In conclusion, it is evident that apart from what Gerbner pinpointed as the effects of heavy viewing, there are others like perception of the justice system, approval of violence, and tendency towards violence that were not addressed. Light and heavy television viewing of violent oriented programming have effects that are adverse. People have turned into applying what they see on television in real life and the consequences are truly evident.