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NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Showing children realistic and graphic images of the consequences of violence appears to quell some of their aggressive tendencies, new research reports.
After seeing pictures of people treated for gunshot wounds, including a man whose stomach was ripped apart by a bullet and a woman who lost her 8-month old fetus when she was shot in the abdomen, children and teens demonstrated an improvement in their attitudes toward conflict and aggression.
After looking at those pictures, participants showed signs that they would be "less likely to solve interpersonal conflict in a violent way," study author Dr. Edward E. Cornwell, III told Reuters Health.
Cornwell argued that some of the current problems of violence among teens and children may stem from the fact that they are often surrounded by media that "minimize the consequences of violence."
For instance, Cornwell described a recent rap video that includes a scene in which a singer is shot, but is followed by another scene in which he appears unscathed by the experience.
In response, the researcher said that he and his colleagues are currently putting together a public service announcement that holds the images of violence included in rap videos up to actual photos of trauma victims. "This is reality," said Cornwell, chief of adult trauma at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
In the study, Cornwell and his team asked 97 boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 17 about their attitudes toward conflict and aggression. The researchers then showed the teens and children pictures of people who had been shot, and resurveyed 48 participants an average of 30 days later to see if their attitudes had changed.
a scene in which a singer is shot, but is followed by another scene in which he appears unscathed by the experience,
Originally posted by el_topo
For example, many people would see a cancerous lung and say "I don't want that to happen to me, I won't smoke." However millions of people are aware of the dangers of certain behaviors, violence in the case of the article, and take the "It won't happen to me" attitude and continue on doing it.