MTV Video Influence essay

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With the nonexistence of a good societal value imparting system in the society, music videos have become the primary teacher for most children, adolescents and even adults in the society. MTV videos have been alleged to have immoral content that advocates for acts like premarital sex, drug and substance abuse, violence, racial discrimination and stereotyped gender roles. Young children and adolescents are said to be the most vulnerable group with regard to MTV videos' immoral content. To determine whether these allegations are true or false, this proposal reviews and develops a critique of a scholarly article that probes into the relationship between MTV videos and risk of adolescent alcohol use.Television and Music Video Exposure and Risk of Adolescent Alcohol UseIn the article "Television and Music Video Exposure and Risk of Adolescent Alcohol Use" Robinson, Chen and Killen (1998) carried out a research to establish the effects of portrayal of alcohol use in television and advertising on adolescents. The authors' hypothesis was that exposure to media depictions of alcohol use is likely to cause augmented drinking among the youth. The methodology was quite specific as they focused solely on links between media coverage and alcohol intake amongst adolescents of six public schools in San Jose, California. These adolescents who were exposed to hours of video games, television and music video were found out to start and continue drinking at probabilities of 36.2%and 50.7% consecutively. However, these relationships were by far momentous for television and music video viewing as compared to playing of computer and video games. These findings influenced the authors' decision that augmented viewing of television and music videos are indeed risk factors for the commencement of alcohol drinking among adolescents and if alcohol use among adolescents is to be prevented, media opinions on alcohol use have to be checked.
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Closely related to this article is "Tobacco and alcohol use behaviors portrayed in music videos: a content analysis" by DuRant, Rome, Rich, Allred, Emans and Woods (1997) whereby music videos from five genres were analyzed for tobacco, alcohol and sexual content; this study found out that alcohol and tobacco use were equally prevalent in all the videos with alcohol being more linked to sexuality. Durant et al. (1997) therefore supports Robinson, Chen and Killen (1998) claim that alcohol use is portrayed to a great extent in television and music videos but does not establish a link between its portrayal and its effects.

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Robinson, Chen and Killen (1998) have used a total of 1533 students in their analysis which can be a satisfactory representative sample of the whole. The average age of the individuals used is 14.6 which is also a reasonable age for adolescents. However, this study is limited to adolescents and therefore cannot be sufficient enough to conclude that MTV videos could have the same effects on adults; a thesis that this proposal tries to elucidate. Apart from alcohol use, there are also other effects of MTV videos such as sexuality, gender disparity, gender roles, racial discrimination and premarital sex that this article has not tackled.Portrayal of immoral content on MTV videos has been established to have a negative influence on adolescents and adults. The reviewed article is relevant to this study in connection with the effects of media portrayal of alcohol use on adolescents. Since adolescents borrow alcohol use behavior from MTV videos, it is likely that the same trend may apply for exposure of other social aspects such as dressing, sexual immorality, racial discrimination and violence by these movies not only for adolescents, but also for adults. It is rather unfortunate to see little being done when MTV videos are putting the society's future at stake.

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