The Effects of Violence on Youth

Topics: Video game, Video game controversy, Violence Pages: 6 (2093 words) Published: April 8, 2014

The Effects of Violence on Today’s Youth
In recent years, the advancement in entertainment technology in the field of and the increasing liberalization of America and its media have led to the creation and marketing of violent forms of entertainment. This includes such technologies movies, TV shows, video games, and news outlets. Today’s youth have easy accessibility to many of these violent forms of entertainment and are increasingly exposed to them at younger ages. The exposure to gore and violence has caused many people to believe that America’s youth are becoming increasing desensitized to violence. This exposure to violence through various media outlets may cause an exponential increase in violent actions of America’s youth and certain harmful effects to those exposed. The experience of violent events harms youth. The increasing publicity by media sources of violent crimes such as shootings may cause children to question their safety at public locations and events. Shootings near the Empire State building that left nine wounded and one dead and the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, that left 20 students and six staff members dead affect not only the victims, their families, and their communities but the whole populous of the United States. Such blatantly open and violent acts are now often recorded and show to the public via News channels and other media outlets. They have caused many people, especially youth, to suffer unseen scares such as emotional and cognitive distress. Furthermore, violent events in a majority of Americans cities specifically in areas of lower income families and individuals have rendered 90% of the youth in those regions exposed to violence (Braunstein, M.D. Glenn D). Studies have shown that one fifth of these children suffer from depression. One third of these children even suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) a disorder most common seen in war veterans. Additionally, studies have proven prolonged exposure to the stress of violence have caused the elevated excretion of certain hormones in children. This causes impaired cognition of the brain, specifically in the areas of learning, memory, and the regulation of emotion. Experts have proven the youth who are increasingly exposed to violence consistently score lower on vocabulary and reading exams. Further, symptoms of those exposed to violence include: emotional numbing and detachment, increased arousal, trouble sleeping and nightmares. Youth suffering from increased exposure to violence or PTSD are more prone to exhibit aggressive and self destructive behaviors such as flashbacks, feelings of guilt, self-harm and even suicide (PTSD: National Center for PTSD). The younger the child is when he/she experiences a violent action or event the more prone he/she is to developing more extreme symptoms. It is imperative that the youth of America be protected from these increasingly more violent and widely dispersed acts of violence. Exposure to violence in media has increased drastically in the last 30 years. Much of this expose comes from the movie many of which children are allowed to view. Modern movies have become increasing more violent than their predecessors yet the ratings have remained the same. The Motion Picture Association of America describes a PG-13 movie as a film with content that “may go beyond the PG rating in theme, violence, nudity, sensuality, language, adult activities or other elements, but does not reach the restricted R category.” While this definition has remained the same, the material now allowed into movies is consistently more violent and graphic than its predecessors. Since 1950 violent content in pg-13 movies has more than doubled (Study: Violence Levels in Movies Have Skyrocketed over Last 30 Years). In fact, many of today’s pg-13 films would have been rated R in years past. In comparison, other questionable topics found in movies such as drug use and sexuality have not increased in amount since...

Bibliography: Braunstein, M.D. Glenn D. "Violent Events Have Long-Term Effects on Children." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 24 Sept. 2012. Web. 21 Feb. 2014. .
Carey, Benedict. "Shooting in the Dark." The New York Times. The New York Times, 11 Feb. 2013. Web. 18 Feb. 2014. .
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