Columbine High School Massacre and Media Violence

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At a young age, children's minds are sponge-like, absorbing everything that surrounds them, which makes them easy targets in terms of manipulation and victimized by the medias constant influence. By the time of adulthood, individuals are already under the influence of the mass media. Society appears to have a subconscious fixation with the mass media, resulting in individuals becoming desensitized to violence and to be detrimental effected. Psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists all obtain different beliefs to provide reasons to why violence continues to be a predominant factor in today's culture. The media promotes violence, and can be blamed for awarding violent behaviour like in the cases of Columbine and Virginia Tec, who both received tons of exposure. Violence is a primary component of several individuals lives, especially in the youth culture, as many turn to the media for a sense of direction, resulting in them resembling the images they view, shaping their behaviours.

Desensitization is a psychological development that has frequently been implicated in explaining viewers' unemotional reactions to the medias constant portrayal of violence (cite). Societies continuous exposure to the medias violence results in desensitization, which causes undermine feelings of concern, compassion, or empathy that individuals may end up having toward victims of actual violent acts (cite).The average child between the ages of eight to eighteen spends approximately forty-four point five hours weekly watching television, resulting in them transforming to remote-controlled mechanisms, being gradually brainwashed by misleading representations (cite). The Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that "the introduction of television in the 1950's caused a subsequent doubling of the homicide rate, i.e., long-term childhood exposure to television is a causal factor behind approximately one half of the homicides committed in the United States, or approximately 10,000 homicides annually " (cite). The article continued to acknowledge that if television technology was never developed, there would be 10,000 fewer homicides annually in The United States. It also persists to state there would be 70,000 fewer rapes, and 700,000 fewer injurious actions (cite).

The media doesn't force violence on children, but it sets a standard for what may be considered ordinary and tolerable in our society (Huesmann, 2004). In the media, violence appears to be something natural. Individuals can witness acts of violence in cartoons, sports, and sitcoms, making them question if violence is a normal factor in the general public (Huesmann, 2004). On Feb 28, 2009, pop sensation Chris Brown was allegedly convicted for the beating of Rihanna. However, nearly half of Boston-area teenagers say Rihanna was responsible for pop star Chris Brown's alleged Grammy night attack that landed her in the hospital (). The survey of 200 Boston youths age 12 to 19 found that 51% said Brown bore responsibility, 46% said Rihanna was responsible, and 52% said both were to blame for the incident (). It appears that the youth within our society have been taught that violence is an acceptable and appropriate response to a domestic disagreement (). The media is glorifying violence, for if Chris Brown is not held responsible for his actions, children with not see violence as utterly unacceptable, but as an suitable practice, due to them being desensitized by the violence displayed by the media.

Research has established that viewers who consume large amounts of media violence demonstrate less physiological reactivity to violent behaviour in other contexts (cite). Men and women who are exposed to sexual acts of violence in the media, also demonstrate less condolence toward individuals who are rape victims portrayed in other contexts (cite). Exposure to violence in the mass media results in desensitization and affects individuals mentally, causing them to believe...
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