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Desensitization Due To The Popularity Of Guns & Violence In The Media Fuels The Usage Of Firearms And Viciousness Among Adolescents.

1230 words - 5 pages

Aside from the reducing rates of violent crimes, adolescents and young adults in the United States experience over 6 million crimes annually (US Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2001). As the previous statement seems to be contradictory, it is found through research that the media plays one of the largest contributions to this annual crime rate. This is interesting that the rate is reducing; yet the annual crime is so large. According to sources, Screen-based media violence, such as television, movies, the Internet, and video games, is the most dominant and common to influence adolescents. As this is very plausible due to the fact of how influential adolescents are at that age and that their main source of the news is TV or video games. Some of the projected mechanisms of influence are similar to those believed to be active in exposure to community violence. These are much like the evidence and reinforcement of violent actions. Desensitization to real-life consequences of violence along with increased pro-violent attitudes, and the modifications in cognitive processing (Huesmann & Malamuth, 1986; Rule & Ferguson, 1986; Cantor, 2000; Strasburger & Wilson, 2002; Funk, 2003). The demonstration and reinforcement of violent actions through the media is placed when a child watches a television show that has the main character shot numerous times and never dies. Not only that, but he can kill as many people as he pleases for a “good purpose”, and somehow manage to live the “happily ever after” ending. This is altering the perception of the real-life consequences of violence and causes adolescents to perceive that behavior as acceptable.
We know that children want to grow up and become the superhero of a certain kind, but are we permitting for the mistaken thoughts as opposed to becoming a sports star or a successful entrepreneur? There also lays the appearance of sports stars being drug/dog fighting/murders. Desensitization to media violence has been examined in experimental situations, as in the classic work by Drabman and Thomas (1974). In this study, children who viewed an aggressive film later took significantly longer to seek adult assistance to stop what they thought was an acceptable altercation between younger children. Compared to the children who did not see the film. This study seems to be plausible because if they witness no one do anything, they subconsciously assume that they too are not to do anything. Some researchers claim that it has been proven that playing violent video games increases negative cognitions, affect, and behaviors (Anderson & Bushman, 2001). It is also claimed that repeated exposure to real-life and to entertainment violence may alter cognitive, affective, and behavioral processes (Friedlander, 1993; Osofsky, Wewers, Hann, & Fick, 1993; Osofsky, 1995; Farrell & Bruce, 1997; Cooley-Quille, Boyd, Frantz, & Walsh, 2001). Together these two theories deem exceptionally plausible. If one were to surround one’s self with...

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