Violence will be with us forever. We cannot change that. However, we can, and must change the way our children and we relate to it. Leonard Pitts Jr., columnist for the Miami Herald, explains it this way:
Despite the way it seems, carnage did not begin at Columbine. To the contrary, human beings have always had a tremendous capacity to inflict pain on one another, a capacity that reaches far deeper than whatever is on the marquee at the local multiplex. I do not dispute that we live in a violence-besotted culture that has helped anesthetize children -- all of us, really - to the effects of physical aggression. So yes, it is proper and necessary for us to debate the way violence is depicted. But that is not quite the same as saying we can or should be protected from it. (B07)
The focus should be placed on the type of violence we see rather than the amount. According to a new Harvard University study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, Walt Disney may be hazardous to children's health. Researchers looked through 74 animated feature films for children released since 1973. Their conclusion: Animated movies subject children to "significant" amounts of violence, frequently fail to explore alternative means of conflict resolution and, therefore, may be unsuitable for small children in the family. According to Harvard, "violence" includes depictions of premeditated murder, as well as, Wile E. Coyote falling off a cliff (Pitts). These two acts, both violent, will not conceivably affect children in the same manner.
Professional groups, including the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Chil...
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...wer. "Youth violence is at the same level it was 20 years ago," said Williams, who criticized the explicit news broadcasts of such sensational topics as the O.J. Simpson murder trial and the Rodney King beating. "That was under the guise of news, of justifiable violence. But why do we have to worry about what's on TV when we have a button that says off-on? We do not need V-chips. We need 'p-chips' implanted in the back of parents' heads and making them reassert their responsibility" (Bloom).
Bloom, David. "Celebrities Debate TV Violence." The Plain Dealer 18 August 2000: 5E.
Mestel, Rosie. "The Great Debate." The Gazette (Montreal) 30 September 2000: W7.
Pitts, Leonard Jr. "Not All Media Violence is the Same." The Times-Picayune 4 June 2000: B07.
Wang, Justine. "Kids and Violence: Who's to Blame?" The Plain Dealer 21 September 2000:11B.
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