Are we desensitized toward violence.

Essay by MooremontCollege, UndergraduateA, March 2004

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Are we all desensitized toward violence, and if so is this a new thing? Well, the media is the icing on the cake, but it's not the root of desensitization. Public viewing of violence goes back to the beginning of time. Take the Roman times for example. They had mass gatherings in coliseums to watch people being get tortured. Even in the early American times, there were public viewings of people being hung to death. In both examples the crowd would cheer and enjoy seeing people getting killed. Because the people enjoyed watching people die, it proves that they were desensitized. No matter how you look at it, everyone is desensitized toward violence, because we see it everyday in the media, and it doesn't affect us like it should.

The National Institute of Mental Health has been studying the mental effects of violence in the media for years. They have proven that exposure to violence through the media is linked to aggressive behavior.

The typical American kid watches 28 hours of T.V. a week, and by 18 years of age, they will have seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence.

For most people, they see these acts of violence and never even think about recreating them. They know it is fake and that it is socially unacceptable in real life. Some people may think something that they saw in a movie was cool, and might think about recreating it in real life, but they never do. Even they know right from wrong and would never really do anything harmful. Either way though, these people are not affected by violence like they should be, so they are desensitized.

Then there are the few people that see violence through the media as a way to become popular. They know if...