Impact of Negative Cartoons on Children

The typical Modern American child watches television every day, especially cartoons. Cartoons are a fun way for children to learn and engage; or so they use to be. However, as time advances, the quality and wholesomeness of cartoons are changing. Cartoons are becoming more sexualized, condoning violence, and no longer not requiring children to think and walk away with some type of lesson. As a result, Cartoons are negatively impacting children. Cartoons are expanding the minds of children but also limiting their sense of morality.

Children are like sponges. They absorb everything that is around them. A lot of where children learn is from television. Cartoons grab children’s attention, so great that they could be watching television for hours. The same cartoons that children are constantly watching, are containing sexual and inappropriate content. A show aired on Nickelodeon in 2014 named Breadwinners. This show is a prime example of sexual and inappropriate content in cartoons. Children gravitate to this show because of the colorfulness and the use of animals that children are able to recognize. In this cartoon it has a lot of the main characters shaking their butts and slapping each other’s. The opening song that introduces the show is not appropriate for children. “Booty kick it, party punch it. Shake your feathers, make your pants dance.” (Breadwinners Wiki). Children should not be exposed to such things, especially in cartoons. It is highly inappropriate and it confuses the young innocent minds of children. Children should not be watching things where it is acceptable to be sexual with other people and themselves. It does not do anything about teaching self respect. All that this does is show children that their bodies are toys and can be touched and shook anywhere for anyone. This causes children to want to reenact what that are seeing. Children will then begin to inappropriately touch each other as a result of the cartoons that they are exposed to.

Cartoons condone violence as a way to handle situations. Often times when watching cartoons there is a superhero and a villain. For example the show Spongebob Squarepants, which is a very well known show. Plankton, who is the villain, is trying to steal the recipe to the Krabby Patty so that his restaurant can flourish like the Krusty Krab. Plankton builds all of these contraptions to steal this recipe but never succeeds because Mr. Krabs, the owner of the Krusty Krab, stops him by using violence. When children watch shows that have the portrayal of using violence to win then they began to do the same thing in their real lives. They’re favorite show has fighting so they do not see what is wrong with that and later may even want to reenact that with their friends or just believe that violence solves their problems. “Adolescents will have viewed 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence by the age of 18.” (The successful Parent, a parental blog). All that this shows is that in order to be on top people need to crush their competitors and if they want to succeed then they need to do whatever it takes outside or even steal to make their way on top. With this people can see how influential cartoons are for children.

In the past cartoons for the most part had lessons and ways to engage children to learn while keeping them entertained. Now cartoons are having little to no reflection. Children are are not required to use their brains and think about how things work or learning new words or understanding the value of things. Cartoons seem to be a way to keep children quiet. With cartoons today there are no questions that could be asked because now just give them the answer. Older cartoons had children asking a number of questions the why this and how that and what makes this happen and what’s that: but now it’s nothing to ask or even to look forward to. Cartoons should bring families together so that children are being challenged more and have to use their minds to think and grow.

Cartoons are negatively impacting children. Children are not learning from cartoons and are destroying the innocent minds of children. Cartoons are too sexualized, to violent, and most definitely not educational enough. The more children watch these disengaging cartoons, the more they will be affected.

N.p., n.d. Web.

“Friend or Foe.” Encyclopedia SpongeBobia. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.

“Bread Delivery Song.” Breadwinners Wiki. CC-BY-SA., n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2016.

Comments (5)

Jamal Hampton (Student 2018)
Jamal Hampton

First off, I want to say that you made a create and strong topic for your 2fer. Although, most of the reasoning in your 2fer seemed to be bias and one-sided. Also your the reasoning of your topics do not seemed to have a lot of detail. For example, when you mention the characters in the show bread winners being sexualized by dancing with their butts you did not give any information on why it is sexualzed. For all we know they could have been dancing with their butts in a comical way for fun. Therefore, your 2fer was creative but some parts just need more expanding .

Luke Cartrite (Student 2018)
Luke Cartrite

The style with which this is written is very concise, but the claims being made seem to be more based in opinion than anything else. The source listed is a clear example of some sexualization to some degree for sure, but no tie to a study or control group or anything else, indicating no obvious link between things such as that theme song and the actions of children. There is also an attempted contrast being made between this and the cartoons of old, but no older cartoons are being analyzed. If you think back to even the oldest cartoons like the Roadrunner and Bugs Bunny cartoons, they had clear and overt violent overtones, and the character of Bugs Bunny alone frequently spend entire episodes tormenting a hunter, even tricking him by dressing up as an attractive female. If there was an uptick in sexual or violent behavior during the time those cartoons were at their most popular, I'm sure we would have heard. The figure taken from the parental blog also doesn't seem to have much scientific backing, and is based in a figure up to age 18, at which point it's fully permissible to see genuine violent movies which occasionally feature hundreds of deaths. That figure isn't speaking about cartoons as far as I can tell, as appalling as the figure is.

This is a really well written piece and the structure of a fantastic analytical paper is all there, but it would benefit from listing a couple studies to strengthen its arguments. I agree with essentially all of your points- children absolutely do imitate what they see on TV, and if there's a study out there that can prove that, that'd be a helpful foundation for the paper.

Charles Velazquez (Student 2018)
Charles Velazquez

This 2Fer really got me thinking about different shows from my childhood that had inappropriate themes that I watched. In my personal opinion, I feel like cartoon creators are adding more violence and sexual references in their shows because most of the time the parents have to watch the shows with their kids too. So they try to hit two demographics at once but it really doesn't work out if they are too blatant with their references. Overall I really like this 2fer and it is a great discussion starter.

Eleanor Shamble (Student 2018)
Eleanor Shamble

This is a very interesting discussion about cartoons! I'll have to disagree with you on a lot, though. When I think of old cartoons, I immediately think of Looney Tunes, which almost always had an instance of violence in every short. It didn't go out of its way to teach morals, either. Old cartoons also had less representation for a number of groups than cartoons might now. Take, for example, Steven Universe. That show includes many well rounded women characters, LGBT+ characters, and people of color (well, according to tumblr, debatable on some things, but better than what I have seen from many other cartoons). Steven Universe may have violence, but it deals with the consequences of the violence on the characters and never really condones it. It is not the only show from now that deals maturely with many issues people care about, but also strives to teach morals about relationships and the grey nature of mortality. I would recommend giving it a watch. (More great cartoons for kids include Arthur (morals about life, mostly social life), My Little Pony (morals about friendship and what it means to be a good person, how not to stress yourself out, lots of things, it doesn't get enough credit), Gravity Falls(morals primarily about family), and We Bare Bears (just a really sweet show in general), which are all currently airing. I've also heard some good things about other shows on Nickelodeon, but I haven't gotten around to watching them yet.) The thing is here: an argument could be made for either side depending on the evidence you choose to use. I think that the major issue with cartoons and kids is that parents might not be monitoring what their kids watch enough. There will always be bad apples in any medium, cartoons are no exception. Some though, teach outstanding morals and shouldn't be grouped with ones that don't.

Gabriel Garcia-Leeds (Student 2018)
Gabriel Garcia-Leeds

I feel like this was a really well written 2fer, and your point was real clear and persuasive. This isn't so much a suggestion as it is a statement, but I feel like it would be strengthen your case by comparing cartoons with other forms of entertainment created for children, so that there's a clearer contrast between how these cartoons affect kids and how others affect them.