How is Media Violence Affecting Youth?

Television Video Game

I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent. ~Mahatma Gandhi

As adolescents, children’s brains are still changing and forming, leaving them much more impressionable than they will eventually become as they mature and shift into adulthood. Keeping that in mind, how unnerving is it to know that, by the age of 18, the average American has witnessed more than 40,000 murders on television?

That might seem hard to believe until you learn that 60% of all television shows contain violent scenes, and it doesn’t stop there. Violence and other mature content are present in 90% of both video games and movies as well. So when you consider that Americans between the ages of 8 and 18 consume an average of 7.5 hours of media a day, 40,000 murders doesn’t seem like such a stretch.

But what are the ramifications of viewing so much violence?

More than 1,000 scientific reviews and studies have shown that too much exposure to violence at a young age can lead to aggressive behavior and causes some youth to become desensitized. Certain children even felt that the world was a meaner and scarier place because of the violence they witnessed.

As a parent, you want to guard the minds of your children and protect them from the potentially harmful impact that media violence can have. But this can be hard to do when adolescents spend so much time in front of one screen or another, and media ratings don’t make your job any easier. The Rawhide infographic media rating guide breaks down the different ratings used for each form of media so that you can better control the type of content to which they are being exposed.

Media Violence Infographic


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About Robbie Richards

Robbie Richards is a member of the content marketing team at Rawhide Boys Ranch, a non-profit organization providing programs and services to at-risk youth across the state of Wisconsin. You can visit the Rawhid Ranch website at:
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