Friday, July 22, 2005

It's that Evil TV! Yes, that's the Ticket!

Jesse rags on H. Clinton, and justifiably, I might add, but she's just saying what every shallow yap has been saying for about the past fifty years: it's the evil videogames that's making American kids violent.

Or it's evil rap music making American kids violent.

Or it's violent TV/movies making American kids violent.

Or its guns around the house making kids violent (yes, those mysterious gun vibes that guns emit, very toxic).

Or it's reading the wrong books/comic books/manga makes kids... well,you get the point.

This is all just so much yap, though. Mike Males has done the best work on this -- and been widely ignored -- but others have done research on it too.

No studies are showing any significant causal connection between what kids watch or what video games they play or what porn they view or any of that and what behavior they manifest.

That's right: None. Zippo.

You know what does show a causal connection?

Whether the parents of the kids, or the adults that are raising the kids, assault the kids. Whether the adults/parents the kid live with act regularly in a violent manner, either toward the kids themselves or toward other adults while the kids are around. Whether the kids witness the adults in their lives modeling violence as a tenable, workaday solution to the problems that arise in everyday life.

Hmm. Imagine that.

Kids who are taught by the adults in their world that violence is a valid reaction to a problem tend to react with violence when confront with a problem.

Who would have thought?

Those of you who still think it's a really good idea to smack your kid for misbehaving? I'm thinking you might want to think about that.

(Here's another question we want to ask ourselves: why don't we want to believes Mike Males' theory? Why won't we believe that it is our violence toward our children, and toward each other, that is making our children violent?)


Diane said...

Asking Americans to stop whacking their kids is like asking them to give up their SUV's. Americans are very violent, which means, of course, that Americans are very angry.

It isn't just parents smacking kids, though. It is also parents, teachers, and principals standing by while kids are assaulted by other kids. The number of assaults on kids that go unreported is probably shocking. The message is clear, though: It's okay to assault someone.

And then there are the assaults that children witness--between their parents and on the street. This culture of violence was bad enough before, but now that it is officially sanctioned and we have worked ourselves up into a "kick their (Muslims, gays, Bush protestors) butts" frenzy, I think it is getting worse.

zelda1 said...

My grandsons are six years apart, which makes it nice for mommy but for the sibbling thing, not so nice. Big brother gets angry at baby brother and the other night, swatted his behind. Apparently not the first time big brother has taken charge and disciplined the baby. I saw it, scoled big brother, and thought that was the end. Not so, big brother was watching television and baby brother, seeking revenge, by the way much later, grabbed a large truck and smacked big brother on the head. The baby ran, the big brother cried, and I said, "that's what happens when you hit your baby brother. He thinks it's okay to hit back." That is what happens when parents and teachers and others smack the baby, they grow up hitting back.