Does watching violent movies inspire violence in the real world?

This is from WordPress: Does watching violent movies inspire violence in the real world?

Step away from violent movies for a moment and step back before there was T.V. and the film industry.  If people have read classical literature, going back to the likes of Gilgamesh and Homer and The Odyssey and The Illiad, it becomes clear violence is paramount to the nature of and to the telling of these stories.  Having been asked many times over the years why these need to be read, the answer is always the same: they reflect the human condition.  Why would people write about violence if humans didn’t have a violent nature?  Humans, for the most part, understand that their violent natures need to be kept in check in order for society to function properly.

Now going back to the question at hand.  Nobody has ever said that reading Homer or Gilgamesh inspired to commit a crime, not yet anyway.  However, many people who use their belief system to justify crimes they have committed have gotten their belief system out of a book somewhere.  Coming to the present time, many people’s way of thinking and belief systems now come from what they are surrounded by and this is the media and by an extension, movies.  If a person surrounds herself or himself with only violence, they will take what they have learned and act how they see appropriate, whether or not society deems the actions appropriate in a court of law.

Next time the topic of violence begetting violence comes up, ask about the person’s background first and don’t just jump to conclusions.  Where and who did they learn from?  The answers are often surprising.

(C) 2013 Angela Capinera


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