Sex and Violence in Media
In today's society, sex and violence is practically in every movie you see. Most box office hits are filled with a variety of violence, like the Matrix or a variety of sexual content, like American Pie. The violence and sex content in these movies make it appealing to viewers, especially young audiences. But, the effects of watching these movies could be damaging, especially if the child is not being supervised while watching these movies. Sigmund Freud had his views on sex and violence. Freud believed sex was something a human needed to survive. He believed it was the instinct of the human that motivates him or her to seek food and water and the instinct of the species to motivate him or her to have sex. Freud thought sex was a very important need because he felt humans were very social creatures (www.ship.edu/~cgboeree/freud.html). I think Freud would have thought watching sex on television would motivate humans to do the same and fulfill our desires. Freud was such a strong believer on the sexual tendencies, for example the Oedipus complex. The Oedipus complex was described as the son wanting to kill his father and marry his mother. He also was a strong believer of how humans use the defense mechanism of denial to avoid what humans truly want and need. Therefore, through watching movies with sexual content, it might seem like it is okay to act out the desires that we want, because we see it in the media.
To balance the life instinct, Freud believed humans had a death instinct; the unconscious desire for humans to die. Basically, Freud believed that in a life time, a human goes through a lot of suffering. Sometimes this pain is unbearable to some, and the release from it all would be death. This explains why some people take drugs to escape from all the pain around them. Even the simple task of losing themselves in a book or movie, or sleeping could be thought as an escape from all the pain in there world (www.ship.edu/~cgboeree/freud.html). I think Freud would have said that humans are attracted to violence in movies, because they themselves unconsciously want to be released from the pain around them. Another one of Freud's defense mechanisms was called introjection. With introjection, the individual tries to identify him or herself with another individual, usually taking on the same characteristic traits. For example, people who watch violent movies and are convicted of committing violent crimes lose the sense of self. They see themselves as the person in the movie, not being able to identify that there is a difference between reality and media.
The biggest debate about what is shown in the media is the effect it has on its viewers, particularly children. Psychologist Albert Bandura's works have proved that children model what they see. For example, if a child saw their father smoking, they would want to be like their dad and smoke as well. If a child saw
someone they idolized on television commit a crime, they might have the tendency to do the same since they believe it is "cool". A committee was formed in 1969 called the Surgeon General's Scientific Advisory Committee on Television and Social Behavior to get a better grasp of how content in media effects children. The Surgeon General found that children may become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others. Children may be more fearful of the world around them. And last, children may be more likely to behave aggressive or act in harmful ways toward others (www.psychologymaters.org/mediaviolence.html). Since children have a different perception of the world than adults, they have different ways of responding to what they see in the media. For example, if a child grows up in a civilized environment where violence is not present, watching a violent movie might frighten the children into believing that is how the outside world is. On the other hand, if a child grows up in an environment where violence is apparent in a daily...
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3. Browne, Kevin. "The influence of violent media on children and adolescents: a public-health approach" Review. 19 Feb. 2005
4. Walker, Jesse. "Empty lessons: going to lunch on the ruins-the Columbine High School Shooting" July 1999. 26 Feb. 2005.
5. Boeree, George. "Sigmund Freud." Personality Theories. 1997. 26 Feb. 2005 < www.ship.edu/~cgboeree/freud.html>
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