A study has come out this month which suggests that violence in the media leads to actual violence – it comes from an analysis of the writings of middle school students in grades six through eight. The study comes from the National Campaign to Stop Violence.
NCSV was looking at essays written by the children on violence and how it affects their lives. Over the course of analyzing 10K such writings, they found media violence as a catalyst for actual violence cited by 31% of them, beating out categories like gangs (27%), drugs (24%) and bullying (21%).
Peter Jensen, M.D., Chairman of the New York City Do the Write Thing program said, “The significance of this study is that it is not parents, educators or social scientists decrying violence in the entertainment industry, it is the young people themselves who are speaking out about the negative impact the violent content has on them. The National Campaign to Stop Violence — and all of us involved with youth — need to heed this call to action.”
The media category included four different types of entertainment: television, video games, movies and music.
RBR-TVBR observation: This is an anecdotal study, utterly lacking in academic controls. But even if we were to grant it any validity, why did NCSV decide to go full-bore after the media? Do we not find, on the other side of this lop-sided coin, that 69% of the students blamed something other than the media?
People can bash the media all they want, but it will solve nothing until something is done about gangs, drugs, bullying, bad parents and other societal ills.