Does Violent Media Really Impact Teens?

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Vanessa Albino, Editor and Owner of the Whaler Post

 

Despite the countless articles and research on violent movies there still seems to be some debate on whether or not they actually have a consequential impact on teens. 

 

Opinions on this topic vary, from students stating that this notion is outrageous to some seeing reason within the tangled web of research. 

 

With popular films and series that contain violence being consumed by a predominantly younger audience, it’s not hard to believe that violent media could be causing an uproar in mental issues and desensitization. 

 

On one side of the spectrum, there seems to be a given: violent movies have an obvious negative effect on teenagers, how could they not? 

 

Students like Juliana Loammi Melara-Recinos, a junior, share this line of thinking, stating, “I think horror movies do impact kids, since we have become accustomed to violence, kids aren’t perceiving films as ‘bad’ or ‘good’ and as a result, kids have become indifferent to violence and pain.” 

 

Recinos goes on to further mention series’ such as Squid Game which although having younger viewers, display violence without hesitation. 

 

On the other side of the debate are people who disagree with the claim that violent films have an impact on teens. 

 

Notorious for his outspoken opinions on this topic, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino believes that “violence is one of the most fun things to watch.” 

 

What if a kid goes to school after seeing Kill Bill and starts slicing up other kids? You know, I’ll take that chance! Violent films don’t turn children into violent people. They may turn them into violent filmmakers but that’s another matter altogether,” he crudely stated in a past interview. 

 

Not many people share the same view as Tarantino or are as forthright as he is about it, however, there may be some truth behind this. With a variety of sources aiming to back up Tarantino’s claims, perhaps he is correct. 

 

In fact, the Pew Research Center shows that over the past few decades violent crime has been on a steady decline, and they’re not the only source to verify this fact. 

 

Junior, Hannah C. states that there’s a possibility that violent movies could be steering kids away from committing acts of violence, which would, in turn, lead to a decrease in the crime rate. 

 

Based on this information, some could argue that violent films have actually helped stop violent crime in America.   

 

An NBHS guidance counselor who wished to remain anonymous believes that horror films should not be viewed by younger children. 

Kids can view movies that are negative in nature, however, it should be the responsibility of the parent to educate the child on reality/entertainment and making good choices and the consequences of poor choices. “ the source stated. 

 

Overall, there seems to be a divide when it comes to arguments on this topic.