THE MEDIA COMMANDMENTS against the Egregore
A tax on violence for a peaceful world. Cure against the Violence Virus.
I advice you to start thinking about the formulation of a Tax on “Violent Contents” to change this society, through good example and common sense. I’m so sorry to say that these people know exactly what they are doing, so i will tell them that they should be ashamed, but i will blame the ones that work for them, in the name of death.
When i say that they perfectly know what they are doing, I mean that they have got all the numbers, and are using them to corrupt mankind, make money and make this world so unlivable, that fear will soon be the only feeling people will feel if nothing changes.
A change in society is needed, because when “Dark ones” run the game, the only result will be pain and sorrow. I advice you to learn something about Ahimsa, and to reject violence in any form.
Here are the MEDIA COMMANDMENTS you will need to start a new world.
Follow them and dark forces won’t arm you anymore.
Watch No TV violence, change channel.
Watch No internet violence, change web page.
Watch No game, do not let them implant in our memory violent examples that you will practice later on.
Violence is a contagious illness that is spreading all over the world, sustained by media asymptomatic carriers, and electronic devices that have been filled up with crossing viruses capable of attacking your bio system.
Do not give any attention to violent contents or allow them to entertain you. Switch all devices off, if they are channeling infected contents.
Do not participate to any violent act.
Do not allow violent feelings, emotions and reactions to take place.
Purify yourself and Don’t look for violent contents, the infecting virus absorbs greater sensations and stronger emotions as it infects your Body, stop feeding it.
Decondition yourself rejecting the parasite that took control of your being.
Be in peace, even if you have to work hard and force yourself to purify your Bios.
Practice meditation and concentration to remove dis harmonic thought and trojans.
Win the battle against mental addiction and the need of conflicting relationships or confrontation.
Equilibrate and harmonize yourself. Be Zen, and Do not fear solitude.
Disconnection from the False Matrix will give you a chance to rebirth.
Karma will take care, don’t react, leave it to the law of Harmony. Be in control of yourself, do not let any external source feed your emotions. Be there.
Time will cure your wounds, be patient and strong.
Stop watching the news and listening to horrors at given hours, or you will feed the Egregore again, without knowing, and unconsciously letting it in again.
Activate your third eye and practice the gifts of insight and pure vision. Seek the truth, see through the veil of pain, ease it, and give good example. No shadow will arm you.
May the force be with you.
That’s all I can do for you for the time being. Take care.
Now you may read these articles, to help you understand what I am talking about.
You may think that those sexy sitcoms or violent dramas are just entertainment and shouldn’t really
have serious effects. For any single show that’s probably correct, but for too many people, we’re
not talking about a single show every so often, and it is a problem.
Child psychologist, Dr. Debra Kowalski, explains, “With children having so much exposure to the
media, the messages that come across… are very important and they shape how a child sees the
world and what a child sees as important. …A lot of the messages related to violence and sexuality
can negatively impact a child.”
The repetition of violence causes children to become desensitized. The same thing happens to
adults, but children are more vulnerable. It also holds true for explicit sexual content. In fact,
relatively little exposure to pornographic material at an early age can significantly disturb a child
and interact with their sleeping and other behaviors. It can also affect the way they interact socially
with peers, as well as foster anxiety and fear in other situations.
Michael Suman, coordinator of The Center for Communications Policy at the University of
California at Los Angeles, is doing a three year analysis of the effects of violence on television. He
makes the following observations:
“Violence on television, basically, has three types of negative effects on people.”
INCREASES VIOLENCE. “…Many studies show that violence on TV actually leads to
aggressive, violent behaviors in the world, most prominently through imitation. They see people
being violent on TV and they copy them as models. They imitate them.”
DESENSITIZATION AND CALLOUSNESS. “People become desensitized. This includes
being callous towards people who’ve been victims of violence.” (Ted Baehr, movie and television
specialist and publisher of the Christian “Movie Guide”, comments, “We say ‘it’s ok, we’ve seen it
on television. That behavior is fine.’ We no longer object to behavior [and language] that a few
years ago we would have been insulted by… We’ve become very desensitized, and it’s corrupting.”)
FEAR. “It makes them more fearful.” Children may have the false notion that violence or
abuse is around every corner and that there is no good in this world. While this may be partly true,
it is misleading and can cause much damage during the developmental stages of life.
ScienceDaily: Your source for the latest research news and science breakthroughs — updated daily
Study On Effects of TV Ad Violence On Kids Has Super Bowl Implications
ScienceDaily (Feb. 6, 2011) — The Super Bowl annually produces the year’s largest TV audience,
making it a prime event for advertisers to debut their flashy, new commercials. But ads with violent
content aired during a sporting event that also contains violence may amplify aggressive thoughts in
kids, the authors of a new Iowa State University study say.
Five ISU researchers authored the study, “Television Commercial Violence: Potential Effects on
Children,” which was published in the most recent edition of The Journal of Advertising. It found
that kids who viewed violent ad content also had more aggressive thoughts, so the Super Bowl’s
football violence may have a compounding effect on kids.
“You put it [violent content in TV commercials] in the context of football — which we generally
think about as sport, not violence — and I think there is potential for kids to respond to this
aggressively,” said Russell Laczniak, a professor of marketing in ISU’s College of Business and one
of the study’s authors.
“There is the opportunity for parents to co-view and we found that co-viewing and discussion can
lower children’s tendency to respond aggressively,” he continued. “But given the context of people
being at Super Bowl parties, I’m not sure parents are going to take time to talk with their children
about the violence.”
Deanne Brocato, an assistant professor of marketing; Douglas Gentile, an associate professor of
psychology; graduate student Julia Maier; and Mindy Ji-Song, a former ISU assistant professor; also
collaborated on the study. Their research encompassed focus groups of 42 children and 40 parents
to investigate their perceptions of media violence and how TV commercial violence may influence
children; and an experimental study of 165 children (ages eight to 12, split between the sexes) to
determine the kids’ aggressive thoughts after they viewed TV commercials containing violence. The
researchers defined violence as “actions depicting intentional harm to victims who would not wish
to be harmed.”
In the focus groups, parents expressed little concern with the effects of violent commercials on
children. Both the parents and children associated violence with actions that resulted in “blood.”
Both also indicated that realism was an important characteristic of violence. Cartoon or animated
scenes depicting violence were perceived as being more fantasy than violence by the subjects.
“Sex and selling made them [focus group parents] mad, but their definition of violence was if it
didn’t have blood and gore and wasn’t realistic — as opposed to cartoon violence — then it wasn’t
violent,” Brocato said. “Parents also had issues with movie trailers as a separate category.”
In the experimental study, children were surveyed on their media viewing habits and then shown
one of eight videos containing both children’s content and either violent ads or non-violent ads.
The researchers then measured the subjects’ aggressive thoughts through their responses to a post
-viewing questionnaire. They determined that exposure to ads containing violent content clearly
increased the amount of aggressive thoughts that were generated by the children.
The researchers conclude that parents should be concerned about their children’s exposure to
violent content through TV ads. Previous literature — including a 2002 study by ISU psychologists
Craig Anderson and Brad Bushman [now at The Ohio State University] — found that violent
cognitions may start a process that reinforces kids’ aggressive knowledge and may make them more
likely to engage in aggressive acts.
“It increases the risk and the [aggressive] tendencies they have,” Brocato said. “You’re allowing
your kids to have higher potential to engage in this activity and it puts them at a higher risk because
they become desensitized to the violence.”
Because the study also found that parents play such a pivotal role in how media and advertising
consumption affect children, the authors recommend three things parents can do to mitigate the
effects of violent media on their children:
1, Limit the amount of time viewing the content
2. Limit the media content to non-aggressive, age-appropriate media
3. Active mediation — where parents discuss media thoughtfully with their children.
And given the potential double-dose during the Super Bowl telecast, parents may want to take
action with their kids Sunday.
The preceding program contained scenes of extreme violence and should not have been viewed by
The Simpsons, “Deep Space Homer”
“Well, we warned you.”
Edward Van Sloan, Frankenstein (1931)
Warnings given before the airing of a TV show or film, on the box of a video or computer game,
on a movie poster, or in a fanfic’s summary/header.
In other words, to the right (or wrong) mindset, an invitation to watch.
Usually added due to uproar created by Moral Guardians, who don’t seem to realize there is No
Such Thing As Bad Publicity and that Truffaut Was Right, so the warnings frequently have the
opposite affect of what they intended. Sometimes works are deliberately made with this in mind
when they’re Rated M For Money.
On UK videos, the content warnings used to be under the headings Language, Sex, Violence,
Other, which (with minor modifications) became the title of a Stereophonics album. It’s since been
replaced with an optional paragraph of text in the ratings label instead.
The United States has, since 1997, adopted content warnings at the beginnings of all programs in
the form of MPAA-inspired letter symbols appearing at the top left corner (“TV-Y” through “TV
-MA”), usually supplemented with smaller letters giving details as to why the warning applies. The
networks air them on just about everything, no matter how old or new it is.
Some standard Content Warnings:
“This show contains scenes that some viewers may find disturbing”.
Including, in one case, a young girl getting squibbed within about a minute.
“Viewer discretion advised.”
“Intended for mature audiences only.” (Mature takes on a double meaning.)
“Contains scenes of a sexual nature.” (Namely, explicit, bare-breasted sex on a kitchen table, to
give but one example)
“This programme contains strong language.”
Or the more foolish version “This programme contains language.” Or “mild language,” even.
An example of a program using the “language” varriant.
“Strong, bloody violence.”
In Shrek the Third: “Swashbuckling Action”.
“The opinions expressed in this show do not necessarily reflect the views of (the network or
ABC Family has one just before The 700 Club that deletes the “necessarily”.
Monty Python’s Flying Circus really made fun of this:
Eric Idle: “There are scenes of violence, people’s heads being ripped off and their toe nails being
pulled out in slow motion. Then there’s a scene where you can see EVERYTHING, but my friend
says it’s just all in the way he’s holding the spear.”
“All suspects are innocent until proven guilty (in a court of law).” (For Cop Shows where real
people get arrested on screen.)
“The following program/report contains flashing images/flash photography.”
The best warning is probably “Mild Themes” which has been making a number of appearances
in Australian content warnings recently.
There’s also “Moderate Themes” (for Batman Begins) and according to the OFLC these are
actually clearer terms as part of a overhaul of the previous ratings system. The vaguer old term?
“Adult Themes”. So the only thing that they got right with this is that “Adult Themes” doesn’t really
To quote Calvin and Hobbes: “What do they mean by Adult Themes?” “Tax returns, paying
bills, and so on,” “Wow. No wonder they warn you about this stuff.”
“Pervasive language” shows up on movies under the MPAA rating sometimes. Think about that
for a moment. That phrase literally means that there are words throughout the movie.
“Parental Advisory: Explicit Content” is used on the cover of music albums. There are no hard
and fast rules for what warrants the label and what doesn’t; some albums drop f-bombs with no
warning at all, while many other artists treat it as a badge of honor to show how “edgy” and
“hardcore” they are.
And the oft-cited “Imitatable Acts” warning preceding Pro-Wrestling pay-per-views, as well as R
ratings to any movie that shows a lot of Kung-Fu action - even if there’s nothing else in it that
would warrant higher than a PG-13 otherwise.
The incredibly vague “thematic elements” content descriptor, which essentially means that “this
is a movie where stuff happens”. Often used to describe things not covered by any other descriptor
which might push a movie’s rating past G to PG (like a child briefly running away from home, or
someone cheating on a test).
Cookbooks—and some books on food that actually have no recipes—have started to bear the
warning “The recipes contained in this book are to be followed exactly as written. The publisher is
not responsible for your specific health or allergy needs that require medical supervision.”
Some shows dealing with ethnic minorities may give out warnings in regards to the portrayal of
dead indigenous people (Australian Aborigines consider it taboo to directly mention the dead by
name), for example, or the content features the portrayal of a certain race and advising viewer
In Japan, anime broadcasts on TV are usually preceded by a disclaimer along the lines of “When
watching [(series title)/TV anime], please make sure the room is well-lit and do not sit too close to
the screen.” This was originally added in response to Pokémon’s infamous “Electric Soldier
Porygon” episode, which caused an epidemic of seizures in kids sitting too close to the TV with the
lights off or dimmed. The disclaimer (as well as stricter limits on strobe effects) has been industry
standard practice ever since.
Similarly, arcade games often have a warning sticker somewhere near the monitor to caution
people not to play if they have epilepsy.
The present study focuses on the short-term effects of electronic entertainment media on memory
and learning processes. It compares the effects of violent versus non-violent computer game
content in a condition of playing and in another condition of watching the same game. The
participants consisted of 83 female and 94 male adolescents with a mean age of 17.6 years. The
dependent variables are memory for previously learnt verbal and visual material, memory for
media-related content and physiological measures of stress (heart rate, cortisol, salivary alpha-
amylase). Besides the group comparisons, potential mediation effects and gender differences were
examined. The results show that violent content leads to a poorer memory performance for verbal
material and to an increased heart rate. The heart rate, however, does not mediate the effect on
memory performance. Genders differ regarding their abilities to memorise verbal and visual
material, with females showing a better performance (independent of the experimental condition),
and for memorising media-contents, where the males outperform females (also independent of
experimental condition). The study supports the assumption that violent and arousing media
content has a negative short-term effect on simultaneous information processing and learning and
that there are gender-specific media effects.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The Supreme Court has struck down a California law that would
have banned selling violent video games to children — and game publishers couldn’t be happier.
The 7-2 ruling on Monday killed the 2005 law, in which California’s legislature argued the gaming
industry’s voluntary rating system is not strong enough.
At the time, California’s lawyers singled out the Running With Scissors game “Postal 2.” That game
follows a character through everyday tasks — with the option to embark on murderous rampages.
Vince Desi, the CEO of Running with Scissors, is thrilled with the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“Believe it or not, I do have some confidence left in America and the Constitution,” Desi said.
“When we lose the freedom of expression, the country is toast. Right now we’re in the oven, and
sometimes we’re on broil. But this worked out.”
Freedom of expression was a main thrust of the court’s decision. Writing for the majority, Justice
Antonin Scalia called the law “seriously overinclusive” and an infringement on First Amendment
Desi, whose company is based in Tucson, Ariz., slammed the California legislators, saying he
thinks they were working only for political interests and “pretending it’s for moral reasons.” He
also defended “Postal 2” as a game that “serves up consequences for killing and is a reflection of
Other video game publishers also latched on to the “freedom” idea in their reaction statements on
“Video games have had to face down censors and stand up for creative freedom,” Electronic Arts
(ERTS) said in a written statement.
Activision Blizzard’s (ATVI) chief policy officer George Rose, whose company publishes the “Call
of Duty” series, called the California law “vague and misconstrued.” He applauded the Supreme
Court for the “strength of the opinion,” which he said “leaves very little room for interpretation.”
Supreme Court sees video games as art
Take-Two Interactive — the publisher of popular video game franchises including Grand Theft
Auto, Red Dead Redemption and BioShock — said it was “pleased” with the ruling, which “affirms
that freedom of artistic expression is protected by our constitution.”
Take-Two (TTWO) CEO Strauss Zelnick added in an e-mail that Take-Two “take[s] our social
Desi, the Running with Scissors CEO, agreed that developers do have a responsibility — but so do
the other parties involved.
“This is an opportunity for everyone involved in buying a game to look in the mirror,” Desi said. “I
as a developer have a policy on the type of games I make. The retailer should make the game
available and advertise it correctly. If it’s a ‘kill everyone, shoot ‘em up’ game, just say that.”
But two other groups need to step up to their responsibilities, Desi said. Parents should determine
whether their children are “intelligent and mature,” and buy or skip certain titles accordingly.
He also criticized the Entertainment Software Rating Board, which classifies games based on
content and age categories. The board has six ratings tiers, ranging from “E (Early Childhood),”
indicating games suitable for ages 3 and up, to “AO (Adults Only),” its strictest designation for
games meant for those over 18.
But just like the Motion Picture Association of America’s rarely used NC-17 designation for films,
the AO rating rarely gets invoked. The ESRB currently has more than 1,500 titles rated “M
(Mature)” — and just 24 ranked AO.
“The rating board will give you an ‘M’ even if you have full nudity in there,” Desi said. “It’s like
everything gets an M. Whether it’s the developers or the retailers or the ratings board, it’s like,
present a game as it is.”
ESRB spokesman Eliot Mizrachi replied that the “M” rating for a game is like an “R” rating for a
film — that is, indicates that the content is meant for those for over the age of 17. He said the
warning to parents is “unmistakable,” and that many retailers won’t sell M-rated games to kids
without parental consent.
Mizrachi acknowledged “there’s the potential for a range of content to be included in the Mature
category.” But overly violent or sexual content receives an AO rating, he said.
ESRB president Patricia Vance added in an e-mail that the board considers Monday’s high court
ruling called the ruling a “validation” of its ratings system.
“[It’s] made clear that the video game industry effectively empowers parents to be the ones to
decide which games are right for their children,” she said.
The media represent some of the most underrecognized
and most potent influences on normal
child and adolescent development in modern
society. Because media influences are subtle, cumulative,
and occur over a long period of time, parents,
pediatricians, and educators may not be aware of their
impact. Indeed, even children and teens are unaware:
A well-documented phenomenon known as the “thirdperson
effect” means that young people as well as
adults routinely report that everyone else is more
strongly influenced by the media than they are.3 In a
recent study of 503 teenagers nationwide, nearly three
fourths thought that sexual content on TV influenced
teens their age, yet fewer than one fourth thought that
it influenced their own behavior (Fig 1).4 Even children
are susceptible: Two studies of nearly 1000
fourth to eighth graders found that the majority felt
that cigarette ads influenced others more than themselves.
Meanwhile, the media have been implicated in a host
of society’s ills for the past several decades: school
shootings, teen sex and drug use, obesity and eating
disorders, even online solicitation of sex. To what
extent are the media responsible? Do media merely
mirror an increasingly violent and sexually oriented
society (as Hollywood executives insist), or do they
actually cause changes in behavior? This brief monograph
will provide the most up-to-date answer to these
and many other questions, using an extensive review
of the existing literature.
To understand media effects, first one must understand
how media research is done. Unfortunately, most
media research is complicated, difficult to carry out,
and inaccessible to the average practicing physician.
Nevertheless, some basic understanding can be helpful.
Most often, when a physician hears about media
research, the study cited is a content analysis. Several
such analyses are cited in this monograph (eg, amount
of smoking in the movies, amount of sexual activity
portrayed on prime-time TV). A content analysis
involves the counting of specific, identifiable behaviors
and therefore represents a “snapshot” of potential
exposures. However, it does not address a viewer’s
reaction to such material, nor does it deal with the
issue of cause and effect.
Early TV research involved the use of laboratory
experiments, in which variables could be easily manipulated
and controlled. A Stanford psychologist
named Albert Bandura experimented with children
and a Bobo clown in a classic set of experiments in the
1960s,7,8 but these and other laboratory studies were
criticized as being too artificial and short-term to be of
much use. Similarly, field experiments in which subjects
could be studied in everyday situations were also
criticized. Although field experiments appear to be the
most true-to-life, in fact they suffer from flaws in
comparability of groups, manipulation of experience,
and random assignment.
Beginning in the 1970s, a number of researchers
began doing correlational studies. These involve
studying large populations of children and teenagers
and trying to determine whether those with heavy
exposure to a certain medium are more prone to
certain behaviors or attitudes than those with lighter
exposure. After content analyses, these are currently
the most common research studies that are conducted.
Such studies are able to demonstrate associations (eg,
between exposure to media violence and subsequent
aggressive behavior) but are not able to answer the
crucial “chicken-and-egg” dilemma: Which comes
first, the exposure or the behavior? For example, it is
entirely plausible that aggressive children could be
more drawn toward viewing violent media rather than
the media actually causing their behavior.
To settle issues of causality, researchers have turned
to longitudinal studies, which are expensive, difficult,
and obviously time-consuming. But these and metaanalyses
(which gather a number of studies into one
large study) can use sophisticated statistical techniques
such as partial correlations to begin to answer the
question of cause and effect.
Media research has been creative and varied, and it
would be a serious mistake to underestimate it because
of its complexity.9 The measures of exposure and
behavior are far from perfect, and there is a statistical
axiom that the unreliability of measurements reduces
the degree of association that can be measured. In
addition, television is so ubiquitous that even lowexposure
groups in correlation studies have had a
substantial degree of viewing.
How Media Affect Children and
Children and adolescents spend an inordinate
amount of time with media—more time, in fact,
than they spend in any leisure-time activity except
sleeping. By the time today’s children reach age 70,
they will have spent 7 to 10 years of their lives
watching only television.10 From a completely practical
viewpoint, this displacement effect would be
significant even if other behavioral effects were not
present. The average American child spends 5.5
hours per day with a variety of media, according to
a recent national study of 3000 2- to 18-year-olds.11
Most of this time is spent with television, although
teenagers tend to branch out more into music
videos, movies, and computer games as well (Fig 2).
More than half of all children in the United States
are estimated to have a television set in their
bedroom, and nearly one third have a VCR.
If parents could package psychological influences to
administer in regular doses to their children, I doubt that
many would deliberately select Western gunslingers,
hopped-up psychopaths, deranged sadists, slap-stick
buffoons, and the like, unless they entertained rather
peculiar ambitions for their growing offspring. Yet such
examples of behavior are delivered in quantity, with no
direct charge, to millions of households daily. Harried
parents can easily turn off demanding children by
turning on a television set; as a result, today’s youth is
being raised on a heavy dosage of televised aggression
and violence. TV researcher Albert Bandura
By the time today’s children graduate from high
school, they will have witnessed 200,000 murders,
rapes, and assaults on television alone . One
might think that the sheer volume of media violence
viewed by young people would have at least some
impact. In fact, more than 3500 research studies have
demonstrated a significant link between exposure to
media violence and aggressive behavior in children
and adolescents. By contrast, fewer than 30 studies
have found no relation. Given the difficulty of doing
social science research and pinpointing influences on
human behavior, these two statistics seem rather remarkable.
Clearly, no single factor is responsible for juvenile
violence. Psychological disorders, impulsivity, temperament,
poverty, drug use, and parental influence all
have been identified as being important factors. But
because aggression is a learned behavior, the media
have been implicated as well.
How Violent Is American Television?
American television is arguably one of the most
violent television mediums in the world. Children
and teens grow up with a steady diet of violence in
their media—from violent cartoons to real-life action
shows on television to violent movies and
first-person-shooter video games.
Recently, the unique 3-year National Television
Violence Study (NTVS) concluded its examination of
nearly 10,000 hours of programming on the major
networks, including cable and pay-per-view.32 Its
findings surprised no one.
● American television is very violent. From 1994 to
1997, 61% of all programs contained some violence.
● Almost counterintuitively, children’s programming
is more violent than adult programming. Nearly
67% of children’s programs contain violence. Frequently,
these programs are cartoons that show funny
violence without consequences.
● Cable television is more violent than network
television. More than 80% of programs on premium
cable channels contained violence, compared with
fewer than 20% on public television.
● Television violence is frequently glamorized. Of
the violent scenes, 71% contain no remorse, criticism,
or penalty for violence. The “good guy” is the perpetrator
of the violence nearly 40% of the time. The
notion of justifiable violence may represent one of the
most significant public health threats in the entire
● Television violence is frequently sanitized. Nearly
half of the violent scenes fail to show the victim in
pain or physical harm. Long-term negative consequences
of violence are rare (less than 20%).
● Television violence is funny violence or trivialized
violence. Nearly half of the violent scenes are humorous,
and more than half feature violent incidents that
would be fatal if they occurred in real life.
● Very few programs are antiviolence. Only 5% of
the violent programs contained an antiviolence message.
The authors concluded that on American television,
violence is shown for entertainment, not for educational
or prosocial purposes.
What health professionals may not realize, however, is that media represent
America’s second largest export, so that media violence
is being exported to the rest of the world. A 1998
UNESCO study of more than 5000 12-year-olds in 23
different countries found that American action heroes
were the most likely people perceived as role models,
with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator character
being recognized by 88% of the world’s children.33 As
the author states, “Many children are surrounded by an
environment where ‘real’ and media experiences both
support the view that violence is natural.”33
Clearly, media violence is ubiquitous in American
culture. But simple exposure does not prove causation.
For that, a variety of research studies have been
The Early Research
The research on the impact of televised violence is
quite elaborate and detailed; therefore, a few representative
studies will have to suffice. In the early 1960s, Bandura
performed a series of classic laboratory experiments
in which he observed the behavior of nursery
school children in a playroom
filled with toys. Among them was a Bobo doll—a
punching bag with a sand-filled base and a red nose
that squeaked. Bandura wanted to observe the circumstances
under which children would learn and imitate
new aggressive behaviors, and so he showed the
children a filmed sequence on a TV set before setting
them loose in the playroom:
The film began with a scene in which (a male adult)
model walked up to an adult-size Bobo doll and ordered
him to clear the way. After glaring for a moment at the
noncompliant antagonist, the model exhibited four
novel aggressive responses, each accompanied by a
distinctive verbalization. First, the model laid the Bobo
doll on its side, sat on it, and punched it in the nose
while remarking, ‘Pow, right in the nose, boom, boom.’
The model then raised the doll and pummeled it on the
head with a mallet. Each response was accompanied by
the verbalization, ‘Sockeroo…stay down.’ After the
mallet aggression, the model kicked the doll about the
room, and these responses were interspersed with the
comment, ‘Fly away.’ Finally, the model threw rubber
balls at the Bobo doll, each strike punctuated with
‘Bang.’ This sequence of physically and verbally aggressive
behavior was repeated twice.
The children frequently imitated what they had just
seen on the TV set, especially if the model was
depicted as having been rewarded for his behavior.
The model did not have to be human; a cartoon
character was equally as effective—a finding that
clearly implicates animated TV shows as one large and
unhealthy reservoir of violence for children. These
experiments are typical of a large number of wellcontrolled
laboratory studies that document that television
violence can cause short-term aggression in
A Unique Naturalistic Study
Experimental studies have often been criticized as
being too artificial. One study that could not be faulted
in this way was a unique naturalistic study conducted
in the 1980s in Canada by Williams.35 Children in a
town that had no television (Notel) were studied 2
58 Curr Probl Pediatr Adolesc Health Care, February 2004
years before and after television was introduced into
their community and compared with two nearby communities
that had only one station (Unitel) or multiple
channels (Multitel). The three communities were appropriately
matched in population and socioeconomic
characteristics; only the presence or absence of television
varied. In each town, children were rated for
aggression, based on observations of their play behavior,
teacher ratings, and peer ratings. After the introduction
of television, Notel children displayed significant
increases in both physical and verbal aggression
(Fig 5).35 Obviously, naturalistic studies are no longer
possible: The 1998 UNESCO global study found that
93% of the children surveyed had access to a TV set
and watch for an average of 3 hours a day.
Several large-scale correlational studies were conducted
in the 1970s to determine whether frequent
viewers of TV violence were more likely to show
aggressive behavior than more infrequent viewers.
36–40 All of these studies were large, and the
measures of aggression were more realistic than those
in the lab studies. All showed significant correlations
between viewing violent TV content and aggressive
behavior. Yet, correlational research suffers from the
inevitable “chicken-and-egg” dilemma: Do aggressive
children choose to watch more TV violence, or does
TV violence cause aggression?
To answer this question, longitudinal studies are
needed, and several excellent ones have been conducted.
The first were by Rowell Huesmann and Leonard Eron,
who originally set out in the 1960s to examine parental
disciplining techniques and their impact on childhood
and adolescent aggressiveness. They wanted a “red
herring” to throw the parent subjects off the scent of what
they were trying to examine. Consequently, they chose
television, thinking that it was a relatively neutral influence
on children’s aggression. However, when the
results were analyzed, it turned out that amount of
exposure to television violence in the 875 third graders
(age 8) was highly predictive of aggressive behavior
11 and 22 years later (Fig 6). The relation existed
even when IQ and socioeconomic status were controlled
for. By age 30, viewing media violence at age
8 was a significant predictor of criminal acts (Fig 7).
The researchers repeated their study with a group of
450 6- to 10-year-olds who grew up in the 1970s and
1980s, with nearly identical results.
Was this purely an American phenomenon? The
authors used a similar longitudinal approach in conducting
a 3-year study of more than 1000 children in
Australia, Finland, Israel, and Poland. Again, early
exposure to television violence predicted subsequent
aggression in every country except Australia. The
relation held for boys and girls. In addition, for the first
time, there was some evidence that there may be a
reciprocal relation between viewing media violence
and aggressive behavior: Early aggression led to
FIG 5. What happens to children’s behavior when television is
introduced into a community that never had it previously? A
significant increase in the number of aggressive behaviors was
demonstrated in this unique study that compared similar Canadian
communities with no television (Notel), one channel (Unitel),
and multiple channels (Multitel).
Source: Reference 258. From Liebert & Sprafkin Early Window,
3/e © 1992. Published by Allyn and Bacon, Boston, MA. by Pearson
Education. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
TV violence watched in the third grade correlates with
aggressive behavior at age 19.258 Source: U.S. Government
Printing Office. From Liebert & Sprafkin Early Window, 3/e
Published by Allyn and Bacon, Boston, MA. Copyright
by Pearson Education. Reprinted by permission of the
Curr Probl Pediatr Adolesc Health Care, February 2004
increased levels of viewing. According to Huesmann,
early viewing of media violence leads to aggression,
which then leads to an increased interest in viewing
violent TV. This series of studies seems to indicate
that children and adolescents learn their attitudes about
aggression and violence at a very early age (younger
than age 8 years), and, once learned, such attitudes are
very difficult to modify.
A similar longitudinal study just concluded, with
equally convincing results. A 17-year study by Johnson
and his colleagues tracked a random sample of
707 children between the ages of 1 and 10 years in two
New York counties. Time spent watching television
during early adolescence was a significant risk factor
for aggression against others, particularly for boys
. Although the researchers used total television
time rather than amount of violent content viewed, the
results are still important since this is the first study to
link adolescent viewing habits with subsequent aggression.
Finally, another longitudinal study was completed in
2003, this time comparing violent TV viewing at ages
6 to 9 years with spousal abuse and criminal convictions
15 years later. The study examined 329 adults
who were initially surveyed as children in the late
1970s and assessed according to how much TV
violence they watched. Those who scored in the top
20% of exposure to violent TV were more aggressive
in adulthood, including being twice as likely to have
pushed or shoved their wives or husbands, to have
shoved or punched another adult, or to have committed
a crime. The researchers controlled for
socioeconomic status, intelligence, and child-rearing
practices. They also determined that aggressive
children seeking out more violence on TV did not
explain their findings.
Just how significant are the data? Meta-analyses help
to answer this particular question. Individual studies
are combined to yield an overall pattern and an
estimate of effect size.50 To date, every meta-analysis
has found evidence for the connection between exposure
to media violence and subsequent aggression. The
● The earliest meta-analysis, which examined 67
studies and 300,000 subjects.
● A 1986 meta-analysis of 230 studies, which found
an effect size of 0.30.
● A 1994 meta-analysis of 217 studies, which found
a similar effect size of 0.31
● The most recent meta-analysis of 212 studies,
which found that the effect size has steadily increased
from 1975 to 2000. This could indicate that children
are spending more time with violent media, the media.
The relation between boys’ viewing of TV violence at
age 8 and violent criminal behavior 22 years later.
Association between time spent watching TV at age 14
by teens with and without a history of aggressive behavior and
the prevalence of aggressive acts against others at ages 16 to
themselves have increased in violent content, or the
nature of the content has become more problematic.
What do these studies signify? An effect size of 0.30
means that approximately 10% of the variance in
behavior can be attributed to media violence. In other
words, media violence may account for 10% of reallife
violence. Although that may not seem an alarmingly
high figure, consider that in social science
research an effect size of 0.30 is considered to be
medium and that the unreliability of measurement (as
always occurs when scientists try to assess human
behavior) could result in a significant underestimation
of the actual association.
In fact, the connection between media violence and
real-life aggression is actually stronger than many
commonly accepted cause-and-effect associations,
such as the relation between IQ and lead intake, or
between calcium intake and bone mass. Also, it rivals
the association between smoking and lung cancer,
which is nearly 0.40. Just as lung cancer does
not develop in all smokers, aggressive behavior does
not develop in all TV viewers. However, the risk is
significant. As one well-known Hollywood producer
I’d be lying if I said that people don’t imitate what they
see on the screen. I would be a moron to say they don’t,
because look how dress styles change. We have people
who want to look like Julia Roberts and Michelle
Pfeiffer and Madonna. Of course we imitate. It would be
impossible for me to think they would imitate our dress,
our music, our look, but not imitate any of our violence
or our other actions.
Media Violence and Fear
Although the impact of media violence on behavior
has been primary in researchers’ agendas, they have
also explored other areas, such as fear and desensitization.
Adults sometimes forget how frightening even
trivial violence can be for young children. Yet in one
recent study, more than 90% of college students could
vividly recall a film or TV program that frightened
them greatly when they were young. Interestingly, a
whole host of “baby boomers” can recall the trauma of
seeing Bambi’s mother being killed (off-camera, as it
turns out), yet more recent Disney fare has featured the
killing of a father on-screen (“The Lion King”) without
much comment from parents. Older children,
adolescents, and even adults may be susceptible to
what Gerbner has called the “mean world syndrome,”
in which frequent viewers of TV have a greater fear of
being victimized in the real world.17 According to this
theory, television “cultivates” a view of social reality
in viewers such that they think the “real world” is the
same as the “television world.” As one researcher
sums it up, “The notion that the viewing of television
program content is related to people’s perceptions of
reality is virtually undisputed in the social sciences”.
Media Violence and Desensitization
In social psychology, desensitization refers to the
process in which repeated exposure to a stimulus leads
to reduced responsiveness to it. Some critics feel that
Americans in particular have become so acculturated
to violence that this could explain the public’s apparent
apathy toward this issue and its acceptance of even
more violence in mainstream media.9,59
In fact, numerous studies show that desensitization
exists, both on a physiological level and on an interpersonal
The classic experiment was conducted
in 1974, with fifth graders randomly selected to
view either 15 minutes of a crime drama or a baseball
game. Afterward, each was left in charge of supervising
two younger children. In each case, the children
began quarreling and then fighting. The students who
had viewed the crime drama were 5 times less likely to
summon help than were the students who had watched
the baseball game. Even adolescents and adults are
susceptible. College students exposed to slasher films
show less sympathy toward an alleged rape victim.
Desensitization is a fact in the research literature.
The only question is, how far-reaching is its impact?
A comparison of the media violence correlation with
other social risks that have been studied scientifically.
For example, could the fact of desensitization explain
why the public seems to accept the continued high
levels of violence in movies and video games?
Could it explain the nation’s apathy toward the recent
epidemic of schoolyard shootings?
Could it also explain why society now seems willing to allow
12-year-old juvenile offenders to be imprisoned for
Admittedly, these are all arguable questions; but
the impact of this phenomenon on society could
potentially be enormous.
Guns and Video Games
A child growing up in the United States is 12
times more likely to die from gun violence than a
child in any of 25 other industrialized nations.
Three quarters of all the murders of young
people in the world under the age of 14 years occur
in the United States. Guns are glamorized in
movies and in video games. A recent study found
that 40% of the top-grossing G- and PG-rated
movies featured at least one main character carrying
a gun, and one fourth of all of the violence on
television involves guns. Although there are no
studies linking media gunplay with actual gunrelated
crimes in real life, there are at least two
suggestive studies showing a potential impact. A
meta-analysis of 56 experiments found that the mere
presence of weapons enhances aggressive behavior.
An interesting experiment in which 8- to
12-year-old boys were “accidentally” exposed to a
handgun found that most will either handle it or pull
the trigger, even if they have had previous gun
safety instruction. In addition, some of the epidemiological
data are difficult to ignore. In 1999,
Japan had only 28 gun-related deaths, and citizens
are not allowed to possess handguns. By contrast, in
the United States there are more guns than households
(220 million versus 200 million), and in the
year 2000 there were 26,800 gun-related deaths.
When the density of guns increases, some of them
inevitably go off. And the media—especially movies
and video games—seem to encourage boys’
fascination with guns as well as people’s fear of
Video games, like television or movies, can be
prosocial or harmless, or they can be violent and
potentially dangerous, especially the first-person
shooter games. Video game revenues in the United
States now exceed $10 billion, and children who have
home systems average 90 minutes of play per day.
Although the research on video games is less compelling
than the television violence research, it does
suggest that such games do have an impact, or, as with
teens’ preference for heavy metal music, may serve as
“markers” for alienated youth.
Even E-rated (for “Everyone”) video games
have appreciable amounts of violent content.
One recent survey of more than 600 eighth and ninth
graders found that children who play a lot of violent video games:
● tend to see the world as a more aggressive place
● get into more arguments with teachers
● get lower grades
● are more likely to be involved in physical fights.
Similarly, a recent meta-analysis of 54 video game
studies involving 4262 subjects found that playing
violent video games:
● increases aggressive behavior in children and
● increases physiological arousal and aggressive
thoughts and feelings
● decreases prosocial behavior.
Finally, there is the issue of the recent schoolyard
and Beltway shootings and the possible contributory
role of video games and other violent media. Consider
● After his arrest, 16-year-old Luke Woodham of
Pearl, Mississippi (who killed 3 and wounded 7
classmates), was quoted as saying, “I am not insane. I
angry. I killed because people like me are mistreated
every day. I did this to show society: Push us,
and we will push back. Murder is not weak and
slow-witted; murder is gutsy and daring”.
Where else but in the media would he have learned such
distorted notions? “Justifiable” violence is the type of
violence most often portrayed on American television
and in movies, and it is also the most powerfully
● The Paducah, Kentucky, school killer, 14-yearold
Michael Carneal, walked into his school and
opened fire on a prayer group. He never moved his
feet, never fired very far to the left, to the right, up,
or down. Although he had never fired an actual gun
in his life before this, his eight shots had eight hits,
all head and upper torso, resulting in three deaths
and one case of paralysis. Carneal learned to fire a
gun from playing point-and-shoot video games.
Whereas law enforcement officers are trained to fire
at one target until it drops, and then move on, video
gamers fire once at everything that pops up on the
● The Beltway Sniper investigation found that John
Lee Malvo, the presumed 17-year-old shooter, prepared
for his sniping spree by training on an XBOX
game known as “Halo,” switched to “sniper mode.”
● The US Army uses adaptations of common video
games (multipurpose arcade combat simulators, or
MACS) to teach new recruits how to kill. Similarly,
law enforcement agencies use a firearm training simulator
(FATS), which is nearly identical to video
games found in arcades.
● Nearly all of the schoolyard shooters were exposed
to and enamored of various forms of media violence.
Although a New York Times study of the 102 adolescent
and adult rampage killers from 1949 to 2000
found that only 13% had an interest in violent media,
this statistic may be seriously misleading. Young
people are affected by the media without even being
aware of it (the “third-person effect”) and thus may not
even report exposure to violent media. In addition,
what sort of media could have influenced a potential
killer before 1949? Violent video games are a very
● American media are unique in portraying “funny
violence,” another facet of fantasy violence. Firstperson
shooter video games may contribute to this as
well. Students at the Jonesboro school reportedly
laughed when their teachers informed them that several
of their classmates had been shot, and one of the
Columbine killers supposedly laughed at a student
hiding under a library table and yelled “peek-a-boo”
before shooting her in the face.
Sex and Sexuality
Sexually speaking, playing catch-up is what being a
teenager is all about, and movies like American Pie are,
by now, an essential part of the ritual.
Entertainment Weekly critic, Owen Glieberman
No wonder teenagers are drawn to Britney Spears, a
proudly self-identifying virgin who practically poledances
on prime-time TV then says she’s waiting for
true love. In one navel-baring, camera-ready package,
she personifies teenagers’ semiotically schismatic
world. Like the Sisquo videos they watch, the shampoo
commercials they channel-surf past, the Web sites they
check out alone in their rooms, Spears saturates kids
with sexuality; then, like their teachers, she tells them to
guard their chastity.
– Although Americans say that they are purchasing handguns for
protection, guns in the home are 43 times more likely to kill a
family member than an intruder.
– Half of adolescent males and nearly one fourth of adolescent
females report that they could easily obtain a handgun if they
so desired (d). Nearly 6% of students carried a gun to school
in the 30 days before the 2001 Youth Risk Behavior Survey
– One fourth of the violent scenes on television involve the use of
Now They know, now You know.
Undo the knot.