Letter: We can make a difference
In my Plymouth State University graduate class, Critical Issues in Schools, we discussed factors that may contribute to why people walk into schools with the intent to harm others. There is research that suggests repeated exposure to violence, which is prevalent in video games, television and movies, desensitizes people.
“There is absolutely no doubt that higher levels of viewing violence on television are correlated with increased acceptance of aggressive attitudes and increased aggressive behavior,” according to a 1993 report by the American Psychological Association Commission on Violence and Youth. Media violence increases children’s fear of becoming victims, makes them less sensitive to violence and victims of violence and increases their need for more violence in entertainment and in real life.
What can we do to ensure that we raise healthy boys and girls who will grow up to be healthy members of society, who will contribute to the health of our communities and not become an economic and social burden? We can monitor what our children are exposed to. What are they watching on television? What computer or video games are they begging for? What are they seeing on YouTube and the internet? We have the power of our purse strings: We do not have to buy these violent and sexualized games and videos. We can send a message that we value our children and want something better for our future. It does not need to be more of the same.