[Goldstein (2008, 12, 06 , 10:50 pm)]
The attached file refers to an interview with Dr. Paul Boxer, my son-in-law.
We have had a running ‘discussion’ on the subject of media and violence.
Not everyone who watches violent media becomes violent.
However, how does PCT explain the fact that children who watch violent media commit more violent acts than children who watch nonviolent media?
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Hi, David –
Not everyone who watches violent
media becomes violent.
However, how does PCT explain the
fact that children who watch violent media commit more violent acts than
children who watch nonviolent media?
Obviously, children raised to admire violence or think it’s funny will
watch more violent media than children raised to think violence is stupid
or horrifying, and naturally the children raised to admire violence will
also commit more violent acts. Has anyone looked into the possibility
that children’s tendency toward violence has something to do with their
parents’ and peers’ attitudes toward violence?
I would guess that the people who are trying to prove that violent media
cause children to be violent belong to the group that abhors, fears,
detests, or otherwise dislikes violence, and adults who want to see
violent media, defend their right to do so, and say that violent media
just give people what they want and don’t cause violence are those who
like violence and admire violent people. I would suspect that these
people present the idea of violence to their children according to their
adult attitudes toward it, use violence on their children similarly, and
take the corresponding attitudes toward their children when the children
attack or are attacked by other children.
My father (along with most adults in the 1930s) had the attitude that
boys have to learn to defend themselves (i.e., return violence with
violence) or other boys will walk all over them. I got into fights with
other children starting in second grade and continuing until 7th grade,
when I realized I didn’t like it and was causing at least half the
fights. I managed to break the cycle. I encountered very little violent
media, though I did listen to some on the radio (Green Hornet, Lone
Ranger, The Shadow, The Phantom) and saw some in comic books and movies.
But I was clearly ready to like them before I ever saw any.
If people are against violence, it seems to me they would be more
effective by exposing it in everyday life and teaching people what is
wrong with it. We still have Sunday gladiators (I watch the Broncos but
don’t care about the rest), and adults buy violent games like Grand Theft
Auto, and if you’ve ever seen professional wrestling you know that
violence is specifically scripted according to market research among
adults. MOL sessions with violent adults would probably reveal a great
deal about why they are violent. I don’t think simple-minded
correlational studies tell us a thing about them or their