September 12, 2003

How many times have you heard the excuse that violence in movies, TV programs, rock music, video and computer games, 'It's just entertainment'? Those who make millions producing and distributing these popular culture commodities tell us that smart kids and adults know the difference between reality and fantasy.

Actually, it doesn't matter. We are all adversely affected, regardless of whether we are 3 or 83 years old. If other people rely heavily on violence in media as amusement for themselves or as electronic babysitters for their kids, chances are you will be vulnerable to bullying and other forms of maladaptive social skills when you cross paths - on the way to or from school; on the subway, bus or street; on a date or in the boardroom. The many different ways in which we respond to media, both positively and negatively, are discussed on numerous websites, among them the ones for the Canadian Paediatric Society and the American Medical Association . Another excellent resource is Michael Morgan's selected works of George Gerbner in the book "Against the Mainstream" published by Peter Lang, New York.

Rose Anne Dyson, Ed.D.
Chairperson, C-CAVE
Author of MIND ABUSE Media Violence In An Information Age and co-author of MEDIA, SEX, VIOLENCE and DRUGS in the GLOBAL VILLAGE