Essay on Media Violence Does NOT Cause Violent Behavior

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In fairy tales, children are pushed into ovens, have their hands chopped off, are forced to sleep in coal bins, and must contend with wolves who've eaten their grandmother. In myths, rape, incest, all manner of gruesome bloodshed, child abandonment, and total debauchery are standard fare. We see more of the same in Bible stories, accentuated with dire predictions of terrors and abominations in an end of the world apocalypse that is more horrifying than the human imagination can even grasp. For the most part, these images of violence, promiscuity and human degradation are explained away by psychologists, mythologists, sociologists, philosophers, and non-fundamentalist theologians as symbolic manifestations of the human psyche. This is…show more content…
And our stories seem to assist that flow. If we stipulate then that, to some degree, violence in our folk, fairy tale, mythic and biblical traditions is a good and natural reflection of our psyche's connection to the interior realms of our unconscious, then why are we so adamantly convinced in our culture that violence and sexuality in modern film and television is sending us all to hell in a hand basket? Story has been around since humans first began to grunt, and it would be hard to imagine that even the most primitive mind didn't have some degree of innate understanding of the metaphorical and allegorical qualities of story. Why then do we assume that the adolescent, American male, living in the 21st Century B.C.E., can't make this mystical leap of judgment as well? Indeed, some of our cinematic images of brutality, savagery, and gore are disturbingly psychotic and totally gratuitous in their usage; but are they representative of something other than shadow? Or is it just that this shadow is out of the managerial range of parents, teachers and clergy? Even if we consider the view of von Franz that: "Not all dark impulses lend themselves to redemption; [and we have to be careful not to] accept everything that comes up from the unconscious" (Interpretation

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