Violence in Mass Media and Its Impact on Adolescents


Since media has been in existence, parents, educators, and doctors have tried to track the impact of violence in media on children. Usually video games and movies are studied. Court cases have existed where families have said that violent real-life incidents have happened because of kids watching violent films or playing violent video games. Natural Born Killers, a movie about a man and woman couple who killed for pleasure, was indicted in a murder case, but the moviemaker was found not guilty. The National Institute of Mental Health feels that violence can make children less sensitive to suffering, make children scared of the world and their community, and make children behave more aggressively toward other people.

Video games and movies have ratings that must be observed by adults and children both. Additionally, parents must know what their children are watching and playing. A good role model with a keen awareness of what their child is watching and playing can help prevent future violent acts or violent tendencies. In fact, with the proper guidance, violent movies and scenes can actually cause children to be more sensitive to pain and to suffering. Without that parental guidance, child can become immune to violent acts in the real world.

Children who constantly view violence can become scared of their world. These fears can escalate and become unreal and unnatural. It is always smart to be aware of the world around you, but to fear everything creates a very negative situation. Children are impacted with fear by watching violent movies and playing violent games.

It is a fact that children who watch excessive amounts of violence or play excessive amounts of violent games can tend to be more aggressive in the real world. These studies on movie and video violence started in the 1980s and are still ongoing. These aggressive tendencies in children then continued with the children, as they became adults. Extended playing and watching violence acts does lead to a tendency of unnatural aggression in children and then in adults as the children age. The contents of a game and of a movie do matter when a child is watching that type of thing for an extended period of time, such as Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto video games. Parents must monitor the movies children watch and the games they play for the benefit of everyone.