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Media Violence And Its Effect On Teenagers

2100 words - 9 pages

The issue on media violence and whether or not it leads to our youth becoming delinquent can be traced back to the 1950s. In 1954 the US Senate held a formal hearing on the issue and it was highly debated back and forth and still is today (Strasburger and Donnerstein 2013). The key question in the middle of this debate is: Does violence in video games create real-world violence? Are our youth affected by the violence portrayed in the various media available in our society? This topic cannot be answered simply for it is more complex and as previously stated highly debatable despite decades of research.
Social scientists have been studying the effects of media violence on behavior for a long ...view middle of the document...

Did it really give them the idea or urge to go out on a rampage?
With the decades of research on this topic, studies have shown that there are positive and negative effects of video games. Some studies have shown that in the short-term of playing there may be an increase in mildly aggressive behavior or urges (Carey 2013). Still there is uncertainty if playing for longer periods of time causes an individual to participate in violent crimes such as murder and assault. Researchers all agree that longitudinal studies can’t be done due to how rare planned rampages like the Newton massacre are (Carey 2013).
Research on media violence, especially video games, has been conducted in three different ways. There are lab experiments which is short-term studies, long-term studies have been conducted mostly in schools, focusing on the youth and lastly correlation studies (Carey 2013). The lab experiments that were conducted confirm that games such as “Call of Duty” gets your blood flowing and adrenaline pumping, but this should be a known fact to all gamers and non-gamers. Yet through these studies it is still not easy to say if exposure to such violent games leads to real life crime sprees.
Psychologist at Brock University in Ontario published a report in which they found that high school students, who played long periods of violent video games, increased their risk of getting into fights at school. They predicted that such incidents like school fights would increase over time. Yet other researchers find it hard to believe that video games alone are the reason to the increased violence in school. Psychologists argue that gaming trains children over time causing them to imitate the games characters in the way they behave. Yet children imitate everyone that they come in contact with, their parents, siblings, teachers, and friends because it’s a part of growing up, it’s like monkey see monkey do, they learn through watching others (Carey 2013). The question here is do the youth act out because of the video gaming or is it due to the other figures in their life that impact their decision making.
Violent situations such as school shootings don’t occur just because of one risk factor, there are many factors that play into why individuals decide such a fate. Risk factors may vary from social isolation to bullying to media violence. Violent video games may have been shown in studies to increase the risk of children getting into school fights but studies can’t control the other factors. The other factors involve how a person’s family situation is or even if they have some kind of mental health problem. Millions of people everyday view violent content on their televisions, and in movies and it doesn’t cause them to become killers. Being exposed to violence is a risk factor just like cigarettes. For example no one would ever say “I’ve smoke cigarettes for a long time, and I don’t have lung cancer. Therefore there’s no link between smoking cigarettes and lung...

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