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Graphic, Violent Images Can Curb Kids' Aggression

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posted on May, 18 2004 @ 10:06 PM
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This is a really interesting article. It would definitely appear that kids don't really get an accurate look at the consequences of violence, as the exposure is artificial, and they know it, via video games, movies, etc.

Thoughts?


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.




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posted on May, 19 2004 @ 08:09 AM
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I think its a good idea in theory, but ultimately how violent images effect someone is ultimately determined by the individual. That experiment is very similar to several other types of "scare tatics" that have been used to try to curb smoking, drug use, and teen pregnancy. 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.

I think that it is important that children get to see the true affects of violence at a young age however. The physical ramifications and especially the social consequences need to be emphasized. Not all people would be inclined to become killers or gangsters, and showing the social ramifications (prison, etc) would help curb problems like domestic violence, child abuse, etc. For me it the key to curbing violent tendancies is creating a respect for life and respect for the rights of other individuals. You won't be as likely to destroy what you see as valuable. Just my thoughts though.



posted on May, 19 2004 @ 10:00 AM
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Perhaps the juxtaposition of images (rap videos vs. trauma victims) will do some good after all. Whenever a video or movie or whatever shows


a scene in which a singer is shot, but is followed by another scene in which he appears unscathed by the experience,

it sends the clear message that it is okay to have an "it-can't-happen-to-me" mentality. By contrasting these messages with images of actual violence-caused suffering, the viewers are treated to a dose of reality. Bullets really do hurt, BAD! Violence can maim, disfigure and destroy. It won't hurt kids to learn this early. Knowledge, afer all, is the best preventative measure.

Also, it could, instead of desensitizing them, teach them about mortality and humanity. When you see a graphic image of the consequences of violence, you can't help but realize your own mortality and the fleeting, tenuous grasp we all hold on life. Furthermore, you can't help sensing the essential pointlessness of so many violent acts.

Just my two cents.



posted on May, 19 2004 @ 01:35 PM
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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.



Abolustely. For instance, for the past 4 years or so, In Canada, there have been graphic photos on cigarette packages in an attempt to stop people from smoking. There's cancerous lungs, pictures of bloody brains, etc., and it hasn't helped.
I think the "It won't happen to me" attitude is especially prevalent with younger people, with a sense of invincibility.



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