The Effects Of Violence On The Media

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Megan Haley-Rowjohn
It has been said that violence in the real world becomes “much more acceptable after you 've seen infinitely greater violence on the screen" (Maslin 1982). Seeking to test that hypothesis, researchers have sought to find how long it takes for individuals to become desensitized to violence in television. As intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all crime, researchers have sought to understand the causes behind the violence. Linz, Donnerstein, and Penrod operationalized violent television exposure by using five slasher films that were found to directly contain violence against women. The men in the study were tested before and after each film on their perceptions and reactions to the on-screen violence. It was found that desensitization increased as exposure to the films increased. After the film viewing, the participants were asked to watch a criminal trial where the victim was a domestic violence women. After hearing the case, the men who had watched the slasher films did not express as much sympathy towards the victim as the men who had not seen the film. Other researchers, such as Bomomi, have claimed that exposure to not only violent films, but violent fiction can reduce sensitivity to violence against women. Bonomi furthered her claim by asserting that not only does a desensitization in men occur, but that there is also a shift in the risky behaviors of women when they are exposed to violence against women in “romance
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