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Violence in Movies, Games and Music

GRRRRR Music, movie, and video game companies often specifically target children when they market products supposed to be for "mature audiences only," according to a report just released by the Federal Trade Commission.

The entertainment media tend to create "mean-world syndrome," says Michael Rich, MD, MPH, professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. "It inflates the level of actual violence in the world. Young kids don't have the ability to distinguish fantasy from reality. It creates an environment in which kids feel that they have to be armed or aggressive to 'Get them before they get me.' It's an insidious thing that affects all kids, not just kids prone to violence."

Discussion Questions

What are the most popular current movies in your country? Are all of them suitable for kids?

What is the most violent movie you have seen?

What role do you think censorship should play in movies, music and games? Should they be censored for adults too?

Movie directors might argue that scenes of rape, murder and so on are necessary because they make the movie more realistic. Do you agree?

Do you think that the entertainment media can inspire people to commit crimes?