Fictional film and television is argued as influential in criminal behavior. This paper discusses the potential of media influence in the issue of serious crime and the theories that support this belief. Media Influence The mass society theory depicts the public as a unit, whose behavior can be easily manipulated by media, not withstanding the rationality of individuals in the society with regards to behavioral disposition. This theory is validated by the fact that the society depends on media for information regarding the changing lifestyles of people, environment as well as matters affecting the society’s welfare in general (Steven, 2009). Williams (2007) observes that culture is a set of believes and customs that guide the behavior of a particular society. Each member of that society is required to act in accordance with the accepted principles as long as he/she continues identifying with it. Nevertheless, the socio-cultural theory postulates that any society may have some individuals whose behaviors deviate from the accepted norms based on the socio-environmental conditions they are exposed to. For example, a child who views violent fiction without guidance from an elder member of the society will tend to develop violent behavior. Many children in modern families are left with a TV set as their companion while guardians are engaged in economic activities (Bignell, 2004). Some fictional films shown in videos and television depict violence as the only way to solve human conflict. The images are exciting to the audience and eventually tend to affect reasoning if continuously viewed. For example, films that show some ruthless characters exerting suffering to other people generate a feeling of hatred and anxiety to the extent that the audiences are compelled to unconsciously visualize the action as a reality (Ward, 2008). Eventually, when the actors who are perceived to be saviors come in to play, they violently terminate the lives of the suppressors and life gets back to normal. Such fictional film tends to generate imaginations especially among the youngsters regarding what they would do were they in a similar situation. They tend to disregard existence of the law that protects the lives of citizens against oppression and violence. Some television programs also present situations whereby an actor steals or kills and conceals the crime in an extremely creative way. Such actions are likely to motivate viewers who may have committed such crimes and also give them confidence that they can not be caught (Jewkes, 2011). Various television programs generate thoughts that depict sex as the core source of pleasure in human life. These have significant negative impacts especially on adolescents who are experiencing self discovery (Chase et al. 2006). Such scenes elicit the urge to engage in sexual actions and may lead to sexual crimes such as rape and other forms of sexual assault if the individuals involved lack self control. Moreover, violent and sexual imagery lead to deterioration of morals causing to social breakdown and hence high preference for criminal activities among the affected individuals (Steven, 2009). The behaviorism theory supports the argument that fictional film and television have a high
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