Pediatricians are warning parents that seeing violence in media may cause aggressive behavior patterns in their kids.
Video games and other devices may expose children at an impressionable age to meaningless violence. This matter is of the highest importance and so a group of pediatricians have voiced their concern over the issue.
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According to The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), exposure to violent games and media that promotes graphic blood and gore leads to aggressive behavior among small children. The price of this exposure will become evident many years down the line.
The AAP passed novel rules and regulations on July 18th. This new policy statement will be published in the August issue of the journal Pediatrics.
The focus was on virtual violence which had a deleterious effect on the behavior of minors. There are researchers who claim that there does not exist any link between exposure to violence and violent behavior.
They say that school shootings are not due to a heavy diet of graphic violence. Yet many pediatricians have expressed concern and say that such a link is indeed there. They agree that a definitive link may be elusive.
Since school shootings are few and far between, data on the matter is not available to the extent that policies could be formulated. Although many school shooters have a diet of heavy violence, many non-school shooters have such a diet too.
A 2006 survey looked into 400 studies of violent media. A link was found between exposure to media violence and thoughts of harming others, anger, a state of arousal and general aggressiveness.
Another survey that took place six years ago looked into 140 studies. Only video games were included in the focus of the studies. The link was evident here too and this time it was a stronger link.
The concerned authorities have issued guidelines for parents, policymakers, media companies and the display professions in general. Children should not be exposed to violence.
Limiting the amount of violent video games that children play everyday is one way of dealing with the problem. Especially VR products that include headsets that make the simulated environment seem almost real are a major culprit in this media violence exposure equation.
To every cause there is an effect. In this case it is more like “monkey-see, monkey-do”. Children do not have the capacity to make solid and wise judgments about right and wrong.
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To expose them to brutal violence through media is to mess up their lives. Nobody ought to believe that his or her children are immune from this media saturation that is violent and jarring in its potential.