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Violence in Entertainment Media, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 387

Essay

As episodes of extreme violence from adolescents erupt, it is inevitable that the massive amounts of violent content in the media come under focus.  There is a consistent effort to allocate blame, and consequently remove or weaken any cause for the violence identified.  At the same time, media insists on its rights to produce and create whatever it chooses, and points to public desire for violence as the real issue.  Responsibility is then endlessly passed back and forth and,

no matter what course is recommended, it seems to be an established fact that watching violence in the media at least contributes to promoting violent behaviors in young people.  As children learn social skills from a consistent observation of adults around them, so too do they store long-term exposure to violence (Siegel, 2009,  p. 104).  It is, plainly, everywhere they look.

This in place, then, the way is actually clearer to a correct perception and strategy regarding this enormous problem.  As the media will continue to present violence because the demand for it exists, we must address the more important concern of how we react to it, and why we want it.  Attempts to “protect” children from violent content are likely useless, because such censorship usually renders the thing more attractive to children, and because today’s media access is so omnipresent.  Then, any efforts to establish creative boundaries will have the same effect, and violence, restricted, will become more fascinating to the public.  The real answer must lie in confronting how we perceive violence itself; children are not damaged because they see violent content, but because it is associated in their minds with attractive and compelling “solutions.”  The adult who tells the child that the extreme, gratuitous violence they so enjoy is not acceptable accomplishes nothing but a greater fascination in the child.  Even today, with so much violent content available, society glamorizes violence.  There is surface disapproval, but children comprehend that adults find it exciting and challenging, and this is the dangerous lesson they learn.  If, as a society, we can see gratuitous violence for what it truly is, we will then pass on to children how meaningless and destructive it is.  Only then will such violence fade from the media, simply because its appeal will be reduced.

References

Siegel, Larry J. (2009).  Introduction to Criminal Justice.  Belmont: Cengage Learning.

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