Screen Violence

Does media violence hurt children?

Some claim that violence in the media is just a bit of entertainment and doesn’t really impact on children’s attitudes and actions.

However, there’s a huge body of reliable research that says otherwise.  This research finds that exposing children to glamorised* portrayals of violence on our screens raises the risk that they will:

  • choose to use aggression to solve conflict
  • be desensitised to its use, and
  • develop a “mean and scary” view of the world.

* by glamorised we mean violence that is done by heroes who are shown being good at it; whose violence is seen as justified, is applauded, rewarded and has few real life consequences; and can be in a comic context.

Game on!: sensible answers about video games and media violence by Courtney Plante and Craig Anderson is a resource that will help you think it through. It takes an Q and A approach, so you can just dip into it.

Game On! Sensible Answers about Video Games and Media Violence

The Effects of media violence on children is a CMA resource that discusses the issues and the research.

And here’s a Taking action page if you’d like to help make media violence less accessible to children.  And this one is relevant too.