Essay on Media Violence Effects

2 pages
440 words
Sewanee University of the South
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I agree with the notion that media violence is among the various roots of aggressive behavior, especially among children and the youth, as social scientists have shed light on this issue through their findings. There has been a key interest in comprehending the effect of TV programs and magazine images on the youth and children. In the 1970s, Albert Bandura, a psychologist conducted a study aimed at finding out the predisposition of children to mimic aggressive behavior displayed in violent scenes. The ensuing report was that children are more likely to become insensitive to others' agony, more fearful of their surroundings, and behave violently towards others. Additional research from psychologists Leonard Eron and Rowell Huesmann, in the 1980s, concluded that children exposed to violent behavior from the media while in elementary school will exhibit aggression in their teenage years (Gentile & Bushman, 2012).

An interesting observation is that a child's aggressiveness is not associated with viewing violent contents in the media as a teenager. This implies that viewing is probably a cause as opposed to being an outcome of belligerent conduct. However, this does not rule out the premise watching that aggressive material in the media is among the various factors contributing to violence among individuals. Additionally, exposure to such content can desensitize persons to aggression in the society thus making watching media violence pleasurable. To such persons, violent imagery doesn't result in fretful arousal, and as such, see aggressiveness as being a normal behavior (Gentile & Bushman, 2012).

The discovery of video games has also been questionable due to the possible effects media aggression. This is because video game players are active participants as opposed to just being onlookers. Since video games e.g. Grand Theft Auto are common to minors, aged between 12 and 17years, continued exposure to such violent games results in aggressive behavior among these adolescents. Craig Anderson did a review in 2010, whereby he concluded that children who play video games were at a higher risk of developing aggression, aggressive affect and cognition, and a reduced empathy and prosocial conduct (Gentile & Bushman, 2012).

From these findings, one can deduce that participating actively in video games will possibly increase our belligerent behavior, emotions, and thoughts in the actual world. The findings have raised questions on the possible harm that video games violence inflicts upon minors. Therefore, media content should be reviewed since it has a direct positive or negative impact on the audience, depending on the subject matter being relayed.



Gentile, D.A., & Bushman, B.J. (2012). Reassessing Media Violence Effects Using a Risk and Resilience Approach to Understanding Aggression. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, Vol. 1, No. 3.

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