Media violence puts gunfire, rapes and beatings into TV scripts, music lyrics and video games. Critics say media violence hurts society because it leads to real-life consequences that shouldn`t be ignored.
Media Violence: The Claim
Critics say our society already has so much violence that it doesn`t need to be depicted on television or through music. They say the impact of media violence turns young people into criminals, or victims, depending on which side of the gun, knife or fist they`re on.
Parenting experts say aggressive behavior can often be tied to aggressive imagry. Media violence is often listed as a top reason that teenagers act out what they see or hear. Unfortunately, they have little knowledge of the consequences of their actions.
That`s because TV, radio and video games glamourize guns, knives and other weapons. But there`s little depiction of juveniles who are put through the court system, sometimes tried as adults and often ruin their lives because of one senseless act.
Media Violence: The Evidence
A 15-year study of more than 300 youths published in a journal of the American Psychological Association shows that media violence impacted the brains and actions of young people. Because the study went so far back in time, TV programs from the 1970s such as Starsky and Hutch and The Six Million Dollar Man were included.
The study showed that even as adults, people exposed to violence on television were more likely to abuse their spouses and exhibit other aggressive behavior. Critics would say those 1970s TV shows are tame by more recent standards, with shows such as Dexter and The Following that are both popular and violent.
Critics would say TV isn`t the only one to blame for media violence. Gangsta rap has been blasted for contributing to inner-city youth crime because of its violent lyrics. Several years ago, Rev. Al Sharpton called for a 90-day radio ban of this form of music in order to calm impressionable youths.