The “Double Sanction”
In discussing the effects of television on the very young, Dr. Thomas Harris gives parents much to think about. After describing how the young mind works like a tape recorder, he states: “A three-year-old who sits before a television set many hours a day is recording what he sees. The programs he watches are a ‘taught’ concept of life. If he watches programs of violence, I believe he records violence. . . . This conclusion is certain if his parents do not express opposition by switching the channel. If they enjoy violent programs the youngster gets a double sanction—the set and the folks—and he assumes permission to be violent provided he collects the required amount of injustices.”
Yes, it is not enough that we personally avoid demonstrations of violence in our home. The question that remains is: Do we by our entertainment habits “sanction” it in the eyes of our children?