Saturday, April 13, 2002

Media violence hurts our kids, author says

By Janice Morse,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MIDDLETOWN — Maybe some TV shows, video games and movies should bear warnings from the surgeon general.

[photo] Lt. Col. David Grossman, author of “Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill,” talks about the dangers of media violence Friday.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
| ZOOM |
        Just as cigarettes have been shown to cause cancer, violence in media has been shown to cause violence in children, says Dave Grossman.

        The former West Point psychology professor and Army Ranger touted his book, Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill, and gave violence-prevention tips to more than 200 police officers, educators and social workers at the Manchester Inn on Friday.

        Surgeon general's warnings on cigarettes are familiar, but relatively few people know the surgeon general warned Americans about violence in media as far back as 1972, he said.

        Although many factors play a role in turning children violent, the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1995 called media violence “the single most remediable factor” in preventing violence among children, Lt. Col. Grossman said.

        A recent Stanford University study showed big reductions in bullying and violence after children were educated on health effects of violent-image exposure; most of the informed children then avoided violent images.

        Friday's program, sponsored by Middletown police, “really would benefit the whole public,” said Butler County Prosecutor Robin Piper, because it helped explain how police officers, crime victims and witnesses respond to violence.

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