Modern Media's Influence on Youth Violence.

Essay by MoeBeeginHigh School, 11th gradeA, April 2003

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Graphic and brutal violence has invaded every aspect of popular culture and is one of the most predominant causes of violence on our society. Although not everybody is affected at the same severity, our entire society is affected in some way. It's not just that music, television, movies, and video games provoke and spark ideas of violence to some, media violence also tends to desensitize the minds of younger audiences.

The first and strongest aspect of media's influence on a violent society is the growing popularity of graphic violence in movies and television. While some think brutal and explicit violence is a fairly recent development, the most extreme form of film violence -the splatter or slasher genre- was launched nearly 40 years ago. This form of "entertainment" features people, primarily teenage girls and young women, being tortured, dismembered, disemboweled, and beheaded, with various construction tools - chainsaws, tool guns, drills, and jig saws -- hence the term "splatter".

The violence almost always takes place while the victims are naked or wearing skimpy lingerie. Robert Ressler, a former agent of the FBI and expert on serial murder, believes that these types of films directed at teenage audiences have helped to "fuel the fire" for some serial killers because of the explicit linking of murder and torture with sex.

Although some would assume that people in the entertainment business would shy away from the truth about their work, legendary Hollywood director John Carpenter, originator of the Halloween slasher movies, has acknowledged that "a lot of people who watch these movies begin to imitate them". While Kevin Williamson, director of Scream, admitted that these movies "make psychos more creative". After a depiction of a homeless man being brutally slayed with an axe in the movie American Psycho, a Toronto resident was charged with...