Media Violence and the Effects on Youth

Powerful Essays
Media Violence and the Effects on Youth

“The more children see of violence, the more numb they are to the deadly consequences of violence. Now, video games like ‘Mortal Kombat,’ ‘Killer Instinct,’ and ‘Doom,’ the very game played obsessively by the two young men who ended so many lives in Littleton, make our children more active participants in simulated violence” (“Quotes: Media Violence”). These are the words of former President Bill Clinton, just days after the tragic Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colorado. The shooters, seniors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, aged 18 and 17 respectively, murdered 13 people and seriously injured 23 others before turning their guns on themselves (Anderson and Bushman 353). They were both believed to have enjoyed playing the video game ‘Doom’, and created a setting for the shooting that was rather like the game. This has sparked a debate on media violence and the effects it has on children and today’s youth. The idea that media violence has potentially harmful effects has been analyzed for quite a long time, and many agreements have been reached on several of the issues it creates. It is not just violent video games that have effects on children, but any kind of violent media, like television, news, books, music, and others. The average young person will have viewed a projected 200,000 deeds of violence on television alone, by only the age of 18 (“Media Violence”). Violence in the media leads to violence in today’s youth by increasing their aggressive behavior, affecting their cognition, and decreasing their pro-social behavior.

Media violence does increase youth’s aggressive behavior. Of all the research done on media violence and the effects it has on young people, there has bee...

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