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Lori Dorfman of PHI’s BMSG weighs in on the link between violence in the media and real life on New York Times opinion page

Is there a link between violence in the media and in real life?

To the Editor:

The National Rifle Association’s cynical exploitation of concerns about media violence to obfuscate the need for gun control trivializes a very real public health issue. Recent articles in The Times (“ The Real World Forces Its Way Into the Gamers’ Universe,” Dec. 26; “Real and Virtual Firearms Nurture a Marketing Link,” Dec. 25) and elsewhere dismiss links between violent media and real-life violence, but the truth is far more complex.

Research repeatedly demonstrates that, for children, exposure to violent video games, movies and television programs is a risk factor for becoming desensitized to violence, lack of sympathy for victims and aggressive behavior. Proponents for allowing purveyors of violent media unfettered access to children dismiss the research because it is correlational and not causal.

Read the full article.

Originally published by New York Times


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