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Violence In The Media Essay

2152 words - 9 pages

Since the beginning of time, humanity has used violence for entertainment. The Romans forced gladiators to fight to the death in the colosseum. Medieval nobility watched knights joust (Goldstein). Violence is a very large part of today's media. It reflects the violence of society and is very entertaining and profitable. The effects of exposure to violent media differ from person to person. In general, those who cannot distinguish reality from fantasy are affected the most."It is surely one of the great debates of this decade: Does the culture simply reflect the dark, decadent times in which we live? Or is society this way because cultural proprietors have run amok?" (Torr). Violence in today's media is nothing more than a dramatized reflection of the violence in society (Berger). There have been movies, video games, television programs, and books about wars, terrorism, animal attacks, and school shootings. Films such as Pearl Harbor and Saving Private Ryan clearly depict the horrors of war while entertaining the audience with shootouts and blood. The video game Call of Duty puts players right into the action of World War II, with the main objective of killing the enemy. The media often dramatizes events such as school shootings, in the form of television specials. Another show, known as When Animals Attack is about animal attacks caught on tape. The media of today contains a lot of violence because it entertains people, which leads to high popularity and high profits.Violent media affects people differently. Those who cannot distinguish fantasy from reality are the most greatly influenced, the media turning from a fantasy, to their reality. Most young children and people who are mentally ill cannot tell the difference between reality and fantasy, due to their vivid imaginations and lack of knowledge. Others get ideas from the media, imitating actions such as rape, murder, grand theft auto, and overall crime. Those who are teased find easy solutions to ending the teasing in violence. The media simply shows them how. Women, in general, are less affected by violence. "Women prefer to negotiate settlements to problems... Women, whether high or low in psychoticism failed to prefer violent resolution even after viewing gratuitous violence." (Harris)."For at least two decades, experts have warned that television, movies, music, and other entertainment media are desensitizing young people to violence and death," (Torr). There are numerous effects of violent media, some subtle and others extreme. "Significant exposure to media violence increases the risk of aggressive behavior in certain children [and adults], desensitizes them to violence and makes them believe the world is a "meaner and scarier" place than it is." (Tompkins). After prolonged exposure to violent media, people's tendency to react violently increases. In a famous experiment, preschoolers shown a film of a man punching a clown were more likely to punch the toy punch clown. They begin to...

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