Is Electronic Media Having An Effect On Our Youth, Thus Causing More Violent Acts?

Since the 1960s research evidence has accumulating that indicates that exposure to violence in television, movies, video games, cell phones, and on the internet has increased the risk of violent acts on the viewer's part just as growing up in an environment loaded with actual violence increases the risk of them behaving violently. As I reviewed current research evidence is critically evaluated, and the theory that explains why exposure to violence has harmful effects for both the short range and long range is elaborated. The size of the "media violence effect" is compared with other threats to society to estimate how important a treat it should be considered.

Notable changes in our social environment in the 21st century has been the saturation of our culture and our daily lives by the mass media. In this new environment radio, television, movies, videos, video games, cell phones, and computer networks have taken primary roles in our youths daily lives. For better or worse the mass media are having an tremendous impact on our youths values, beliefs, and yes, behavior. Unfortunately, the results of one particular common element of the electronic mass media has a detrimental effect on youths well being. The recent increase in the use of mobile phones, textmessaging, e-mail, and chat rooms by our youth have opened new avenues for social interaction in whieh aggression can occur and you can be victimized, new avenues that essentially break the old boundaries of family, neighborhood, and community that might have protected our youth to some degree in the past.

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