The media has always been sensationalist, whether it be movies with “real sick” fight scenes or the nightly news shoving the one recent murder in your face for 3 months just to suddenly change tact and start screaming “Terrorists!”. The combination of violence in television, film and video games, along with sensationalist news grossly miss-representing the number of serious crimes such as murder and assault is often blamed for violence in our society, particularly when children are ‘exposed’ to it.
This view of the media’s influence however, paints the audience in a very gullible and easy-to-influence light. Children are seen to be even more susceptible to the media’s influence, somehow instantly being characterised as innocent when as far as any of us really know they could be spawn of the devil himself (And I’ve had the misfortune to meet a few contenders). The Bobo doll experiment is often used as a reference for those who argue that simply seeing an adult assault the doll contributed to the child’s social learning of violence. The below video explains the experiment and shows the experiment in action.
Personally, I think the experiment was a whole lot of BS, but I’ll let you decide for yourself. In my view, a child’s lifestyle, their upbringing and, socioeconomic standing and social life are the main contributors when it comes to children and violence, and things such as violent movies and video games don’t have anywhere near the effect that those who preach ‘think of the children’ would have you believe.