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Effects Of Violent Media On The Youth

2130 words - 9 pages

It is that time of year again. With the Holidays closing in on the horizon, parents are scrambling to buy their children that perfect present. With that in mind, many parents will buy their little boys and girls the latest addition to the Microsoft Xbox family, the Xbox One, which is perhaps the hottest gift this season. Everybody wants it. But most of the Xbox games like Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, and Halo are extremely violent, depicting war, blood, and gore very nonchalantly. The television channel FX constantly shows movies such as the latest Batman trilogy which includes violent depictions of beatings, graphic shootings, dozens of explosions, neck snapping and back breaking, along with chokings, hand to hand combats, and dead bodies. These portrayals are detailed, but little blood is shown. While violence is not a new thing to the world, it is a problem that is skyrocketing in correlation to modern society and violent movies, video games, and media. With school shootings like Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, and Columbine, many psychologists have asked the question ‘is elevated violence rates in media and the greater access to firearms and explosives one of the reasons why these tragedies happened?’ But, most importantly, how does this violence whether in media or the real world affect the children involved? Is the violence in media correlated to etiology of violent behavior in the child’s later life? In this paper, I will review the impact media violence has on child and adolescent development.
While there are countless arguments on how video games and television create aggression in children, James E. Gardner (1991) suggested that video games can help therapists working with children. He suggests that the video games in his study have proved to be a very useful and important therapeutic tool for the children as it has helped emotionally distressed children learn how to better communicate with the people surrounding them and has shown them since they can be in control of a virtual world, so too can they be somewhat in control of their own. But, the games used in their sessions were Mario Brothers games, and while these contain some violence such has jumping on other character’s heads, etc., Mario Brothers by no means contains the violence that today’s common video games like Assassin’s Creed does.
In a statistic that is extremely startling, as many as 73% of parents believe that their children view violent media content at least once a week (Cheng, et al., 2004). But what exactly constitutes violence? Stipp and J. Ronald Milavsky’s (1988) piece entitled U.S. Television Programming’s Effects on Aggressive Behavior of Children and Adolescents brings to light that pollsters always point out that there is “too much violence on television” but researchers have found that it is extremely difficult to measure and define how much violence is too much violence in television. Television media includes everything from children’s comedy on the...

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