Opposing Viewpoints: Popular Culture. John Woodward. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2005. From Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center.
Ed Donnerstein, “Violence in Media,” Arizona Alumnus, Fall 2004. Copyright © 2004 by Ed Donnerstein. Reproduced by permission.
"There is absolutely no doubt that those who are heavy viewers of [media] violence demonstrate increased acceptance of aggressive attitudes and increased aggressive behavior."
In the following viewpoint Ed Donnerstein argues that although media violence may not be the most important contributor to violent behavior, it has been proven to have an adverse impact on viewers. If the violence is depicted in a glamorous, sanitized, or routine manner, as it frequently is on television and in movies, it sends the message that violence is a desirable way to solve problems, he contends. Ed Donnerstein is dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona.
As you read, consider the following questions:
1. What did the office of the surgeon general of the United States conclude about media violence?
2. What role should parents play in preventing the influence of violence in the media, according to Donnerstein?
3. According to the author, what actions should the mass media take to counter the aggressive behavior inspired by their violent content?
I was taken aback when congressional hearings and an inordinate amount of media coverage were devoted to the issue of indecency on television after the  Janet Jackson Super Bowl incident. Our government "media regulators" demonstrated that they were more concerned about the influence of an exposed breast on "innocent children" than the one area we know the most about—exposure to violence in the media.
The relationship between exposure to media violence and aggressive behavior has been an ongoing focus of inquiry by academic researchers and... [continues]
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