Violence in the Media ViolenceintheMedia 2/25/04 3: 50 pm page 1


No: Violence in the Media Does Not Make Children



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No: Violence in the Media Does Not Make Children
More Violent
Violent Movies Do Not Make Children Violent by Jack Valenti
72
Of the hundreds of films produced each year, only a few portray crass,
excessive violence. The movie industry should strive to help parents screen out the most violent fare, but the rise in school violence should not be blamed on violent cinema. Other countries enjoy American movies and have much lower crime rates than we do. Similarly, millions of students view violent movies without imitating what they see on the screen. Popular Music Does Not Make Teenagers Violent by David E. Nantais
75
Ever since Elvis Presley and the Beatles first made rock and roll so popular with teens, parents have sought to blame their children’s problems on the music they listen to. In reality music has a very positive effect on teens—even seemingly violent or depressing music can give therapeutic release to teens dealing with pent-up sadness or anger.
Because teenagers face many difficulties, they do need guidance from parents and other elders, but demonizing the music teens enjoy is simply counterproductive. The Effects of Violent Video Games on Children Are Exaggerated
by Gary Chapman
79
Placing the blame for school shootings on the video games the shooters played is incredibly simplistic. Video games are not causing children in general to become more violent Girls do not usually play them at all, and the vast majority of boys and men who do are not violent. For boys who are already angry or obsessed with revenge, playing violent video games may reinforce these angry feelings—but even in those cases, the boys’
problems clearly go far beyond their exposure to video game violence. Teenagers Are Not Becoming More Violent by Mike Males
82
Despite the intense media coverage given to several school shootings in the late s, levels of teen violence have actually been steadily decreasing since the s. Adults have far higher levels of murder, criminal
ViolenceintheMedia 2/25/04 3:50 PM Page 7

arrest, and violent deaths than teenagers do. Rather than demonizing teenagers and the music and video games they enjoy—perhaps politicians and the media should consider the possibility that popular culture has had a positive effect on teenagers over the past two decades.



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