Media and Violence Contradicting Causes Term Paper

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A in millions)

Current in millions)

Provided by Federal Bureau of Investigation as of September 18, 2006. www.whitehouse.gov/goodbye/3ae6b1ac94aa97e6650780f280890a7c81100e47.html"

CHART: National Correctional Populations

National Correctional Populations

The number of adults in correctional population has been increasing.

A in millions)

Current million in millions)

Provided by Bureau of Justice Statistics as of November 30, 2006. (Social Statistics Briefing Room, 2006)

More Statistics

Violence in the Media

Huston and colleagues have estimated that the average 18-year-old will have viewed 200,000 acts of violence on television (Huston, a.C., Donnerstein, E., Fairchild, H. et al. Big World, Small Screen: The Role of Television in American Society. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1992.)

41% percent of American households have three or more televisions (Nielsen Media Research, 2000).

56% of children ages 8-16 have a television in their rooms (Annenberg Public Policy Center, 2000. Media in the Home 2000)

Percentage of television-time children ages 2-7 spend watching alone and unsupervised: 81 (Kaiser Family Foundation, 1999. "Kids and Media @ the New Millennium.")

Television alone is responsible for 10% of youth violence. (Senate Judiciary Committee Staff Report, 1999.)

Average time per week that the American child ages 2-17 spends watching television: 19 hours, 40 minutes (Nielsen Media Research, 2000)

Percentage of day care centers that use TV during a typical day: 70 (Tashman, Billy. "Sorry Ernie, TV Isn't Teaching." New York Times. Nov 12, 1994.)

Hours per year the average American youth spends in school: 900 (Barber, Benjamin. Harper's. Nov 1993: 41)

Hours per year the average American youth watches television: 1,023 (Nielsen Media Research, 2000) (Statistics, 2005)

The Media Coalition, founded in 1973, reportedly "defends the First Amendment right to create and distribute books, magazines, recordings, movies, videotapes and videogames; and defends the American public's First Amendment right to have access to the broadest possible range of opinion and entertainment." Members consist of U.S. publishers: librarians, booksellers, publishers, periodical distributors, recording and videogame manufacturers and retailers. Members include:

American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression

Association of American Publishers

Freedom to Read Foundation

Interactive Digital Software Association

International Periodical Distributors Association

Magazine Publishers of America

National Association of College Stores

National Association of Recording Merchandisers

Publishers Marketing Association

Video Software Dealers Association ("Shooting the Messenger...," 2000)

Greene & Krcmar (2005) report that during the past decade, media-effects' researchers concluded that exposure to television violence can in fact, results in aggressive behavior and that TV / movie violence can influence individuals to imitate violent acts. The ongoing problem continues, however regarding "the lack of agreement concerning the relations among personality factors, media use, and negative behavioral outcomes."

More than 3,500 research studies have been completed in the U.S., and throughout the world, since the 1950s, utilizing numerous investigative methods to investigate whether or not a link to exist between exposure to media violence and subsequent violent behavior. "All but 18 have shown a positive correlation between media exposure and violent behavior." Findings from the approximately 3500 studies include:

Epidemiologists studying a broad array of factors associated with violence, including poverty, racial discrimination, substance abuse, inadequate schools, joblessness and family dissolution, found that exposure to violent media was a factor in half of the 10,000 homicides committed in the United States the previous year.

Numerous studies indicate that a preference for heavy metal music may be a significant marker for alienation, substance abuse, psychiatric disorders, suicide risk, sex-role stereotyping, or risk-taking behaviors during adolescence.

Research to date indicates that interactive media have an even more potent and lasting effect on violent behavior than passive media forms like television and movies. Several studies have shown that after playing violent video games, children and adolescents become desensitized to violence, have increasedlevels of aggressive thoughts and behavior, and act hostile toward others.

Studies designed to test the theory that experiencing media violence leads to a catharsis, a reduction in actual aggression due to the vicarious release of hostility, actually found increased overt aggression because of lowered inhibitions after experiencing media violence.

Meta-analysis, a process by which the results from many different research studies are analyzed as a whole, shows that the strength of the correlation between exposure to media violence and aggressive behavior is larger than that of condom non-use and sexually transmitted HIV, lead exposure and lower I.Q., passive tobacco smoke and lung cancer or calcium intake and bone mass, relationships which pediatricians accept as fact and on which we routinely base preventive medicine. ("REPORT on VIOLENCE..., 2000)

The following represent some of the Media Coalition's recent projects:

EMA v. Henry: www.mediacoalition.org./legal/EMAvHenry/Oct%2011%20Order.pdf" U.S. District Court Grants Preliminary Injunction

October 11, 2006 --U.S. District Court Judge Robin Cauthron today granted a motion for preliminary injunction in EMA v. Henry. The decision bars enforcement of an Oklahoma law that would have banned the sale of materials with "inappropriate violence" to minors by adding a definition of "inappropriate violence" to the state harmful to minors law. (Latest News, 2007)

ESA v. Foti: LA Video Game Ban Unconstitutional

November 30, 2006 -- Ruling from the bench, U.S. District Court Judge Brady today permanently enjoined a Louisiana law that would have banned the sale of video games with violent content. The law would have banned violent content if the content met a three-part test that lawmakers based on the Miller/Ginsberg test, which was established to determine what sexual content may be considered harmful to minors. Plaintiffs in the case included Entertainment Software Association and Entertainment Merchants Association. (Latest News, 2007)

ESA v. Swanson: Eighth Circuit Argument

February 12, 2007 -- Oral argument will be heard today in ESA v. Swanson (formerly ESA v. Hatch) before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Judges Wollman, Smith, and Benton will hear the argument. Media Coalition members submitted an amicus brief in this case arguing that video games, even those with violent content, are protected by the First Amendment. The brief also argued the law improperly delegates power to a private rating system. (Latest News, 2007)

III. but... Yet...

Messenger. But yet, madam-

Cleopatra. I do not like 'but yet.'" (Shakespeare 1996)

But yet...

As, the most individuals watch up to seven hours of television each day and children between the ages of two and five view approximately 28 hours a week, questions arise. One: Is media (e.g.: TV, movies, music, newspapers and books) permitting violence to pervade society so rampantly that it poisons the minds of youth and makes them violent? Primavera (1998) cites Bandura, Ross & Ross (1963); Cannon (198)9; Lande (1993); Wilson & Hunter (1983) to report that children repeatedly exposed to media violence may incorporate acts/behaviors into their learning process. Primavera (1998) also contends, however, the non-violence phenomenon includes numerous complex components that also need to be examined, such as an individuals' internal dilemmas, relationships with their families and friends, involvement with educational and religious institutions, as well as society in general.

The Media Coalition, a first amendment advocacy organization published an extensive survey, "Shooting the Messenger: Why Censorship Won't Stop Violence." ("Shooting the Messenger...,." 2000) This report assesses and amalgamates numerous studies, along with of a multitude of statistics, to reportedly debunk the prevarication a causal link exists between violence depicted in the media and violence occurring in real-life. Although research posits various causes for violence, none of the paragons reportedly link directly to media violence, the report contends.

Horowitz states:. "Children process the messages they receive in the context of their value systems. By giving children the tools they need to understand what they are seeing and hearing, parents can help their children absorb a wide range of media and messages consistent with the positive values taught by parents, teachers and peers." ("Shooting the Messenger...," 2000) Recommendations include encouraging adult guidance, heeding voluntary media ratings and teaching media literacy. Primavera (1998) stresses that consideration of a multiplicity of factors, along with an individual's specific personality factors are necessary to understand by violence in regard to media. Consequently, alongside research examining media's impact on violence, other components, including but not limited to physiological/chemical factors of aggression present an additional dimension to consider:

Human behavior could be affected by physiological and chemical influences which could be triggered by environmental stimuli (Eichelman, 1987). A case in point is that of Mr. Blake whose violent and homicidal behavior was found to be linked to an undiagnosed temporal lobe epilepsy (Siegel, 1993). The fact of the matter is that all emotions have been found to be controlled by specific brain functions in the limbic system and other parts of the brain. This has been supported by numerous research with animals and observations of brain injury patients. It has been found that the hypothalamus, the anterior poles of the temporal lobes, the amygdala, and the orbital frontal context are all involved in controlling aggression (Allison, 1993) and that an injury to these parts of the brain will impact on aggressive behavior (Silver & Vydofsky, 1987a; 1987b). That is not to say that all aggressive behaviors are to be explained by some…[continue]

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