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Media Violence or Myth?

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Media violence is a topic that has warranted much discussion from active citizens, critics, and scientific researchers on both sides of the argument. In order to better understand the media violence debate a clear definition of violence, or aggression, must be established. However, one of the reasons that the heated discussion over media violence even exists is because of the difficulty in accomplishing this task. “Aggression is a highly complex phenomenon, whose etiology includes a wide variety of psychological, social, and circumstantial factors. 'Measuring' aggression in relationship to such an equally complex substance as the media is incredibly difficult” (Trend 45). Various sources offer different interpretations of aggressive behavior. One of the most popular references which excels in organization and categorization is the National Television Violence Study of 1998. “Violence is defined as any overt depiction of a credible threat of physical force or the actual use of such force intended to physically harm an animate being or group of beings. Violence also includes certain depictions of physically harmful consequences against an animate being or group that occur as a result of unseen violent means” (Federman 18). The importance of this study is that it highlights key aspects of media violence: involvement of animate beings, clear intent to harm, and harm that is physical in nature. Although the American society tends to believe that violent images in the media have powerful negative effects on viewers, especially children, which causes people to commit crimes and demonstrate aggressive behaviors, media violence actually produces minor effects at most, and can even prove advantageous.
People commonly link violent images in...

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...lence, we move the conversation forward” (Trend 123). With more concise discussion between the two sides of this debate and input from media viewers the discussion on media violence can reach a decision on the best possible action to take.

Works Cited

Dudley, William. Media Violence: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven P, 1999. Print.
Gerdes, Louise I. Media Violence: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven P, 2004. Print.
Grimes, Tom, James A. Anderson, and Lori A. Bergen. Media Violence and Aggression: Science and Ideology. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2008. Print.

Potter, W J. The 11 Myths of Media Violence. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2003. Print.

Trend, David. The Myth of Media Violence: A Critical Introduction. Malden: Blackwell, 2007. Print.

Federman, Joel, ed. National Television Violence Study: Executive Summary. Vol. 3. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 1998. Print.
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