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Violence in the Media Essay example

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Some believe that violence in the media is to blame for violence in people, but that argument is undermined by the realization that violence existed long before video games and television. In fact, violence has actually been steadily decreasing since these things have been growing in popularity. Critics of violent media seem to long for the “good old days”; a time before there was violence in the media. These critics fail to acknowledge that those “good old days” were actually far more violent than today. While violence is still present in modern society, it pales in comparison to the violence that was once a part of daily life. For most of human history, people have lived lives dominated by violence. From primitive hunters killing for food through centuries of society built around warfare, violence has never been less a part of the human experience than it is today. Horrific acts of violence such as the holocaust, the Salem witch trials, and lynchings all took place before the advent of modern violent media. The people of Salem didn’t listen to Tupac, violent racists didn’t all play Grand Theft Auto, and Hitler never watched Saw III. Even relatively recently, violence has been more tolerated in society than it is today. Violent hazing, domestic violence, and child abuse were all even more common in society before the increase in popularity of violent media. Historically, real life violence has been declining at almost the same rate as violence in entertainment has been increasing. It’s almost an inverse relationship between the two. “History alone should call a link into question . . . historians attribute the decline to improving social controls over violence” (30). An improvement in the effectiveness of police...


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...e experiences. Comprehensive, long-term studies have demonstrated that violent behavior is far more closely correlated to violence in the home than to media influence. While it is much easier to scapegoat television and movies, children model far more of their behavior on their parents and real-life role models. Even what little correlation between violent media and violent behavior has been demonstrated to exist does not prove cause, it is equally possible that children exposed to violence in real life are simply more attracted to violent media. It could be argued that media violence could even have value as a substitute for real-life violence in responding to the violent urges that are people naturally experience. Perhaps, rather than violence in the media causing violence in people, violent media simply reflects the violent nature inherent in our species.



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