Several USA and Canadian studies have established correlations between prolonged childhood exposure to television and a proclivity for physical aggressiveness that extends from pre-adolescence into adulthood. One study monitored the effect of television upon the children of a remote Canadian community where television reception was only established in 1973, using for comparison two similar towns that had long had television. Before television was introduced, rates of inappropriate physical aggression were monitored. After two years of television, the rate increased by 160%, in both boys and girls, and in both those who were aggressive to begin with and those who were not. The rate in the two reference communities did not change. A study from 1960 to 1981 of 875 children in a semi-rural American county (controlled for baseline aggressiveness, intelligence and socioeconomic status) found among persons subsequently convicted of crimes, the more television they had watched by age 8, the more serious their subsequent crimes. A "second generation effect" was that the more television a parent had watched as a child, the more severely that parent punished children. In South Africa, which had no television prior to 1975, the homicide rate among white South Africans declined by 7% between 1945 and 1974, while it increased by 93% amongst white Americans and 92% in Canada. Neither economic growth, civil unrest, age distribution, urbanization, alcohol consumption, capital punishment not the availability of firearms explain the 10 to 15 year span between the introduction of television and the doubling of the homicide rate in the USA and Canada.
2. It is as idle to expect television to help combat the epidemic of violence that is derivative from violent entertainment as it is to expect the tobacco industry to help combat the epidemic of lung cancer that is a comparable sign of that industry's sickening health.
3. Violence is news. No one can blame television programming directors for scheduling programmes according to the formula "if it bleeds, it leads.".
4. Our society is in a state of anxiety. We need to explain this anxiety to ourselves. Previously we could say we were afraid of atomic war, and that was to some extent justified. Now, we say we are afraid of crime, and justify our fear by pointing to the the amount of crime and violence we see televised.