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Movie violence impacts youth

Monday, June 1, 2009

Most children witness two murders a day.

This is one of the stunning results of a survey conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which estimates most American children will witness as many as 16,000 murders via television and movies by the time they are 18.

This frightening statistic is why families need to take care with the filmed entertainment they consume, according to family experts.

"Consuming graphic violence for fun devalues all life, including our own," said one expert. "Watching excessive graphic violence and gore, like exploding body parts, torture and wonton murder for entertainment has two main destructive results. The first is a person, particularly youth, may become afraid of death and dying. This powerful fear short circuits a person's response when faced with actual traumatic experiences. In other words, they are more likely to become a helpless victim, versus a strong person who is able to defend themselves. The other likely result is they may become more violent, viewing violence as a way to resolve any conflict."

The study also concluded that:

*Sexual content appears in 64% of all TV programs, averaging 4.4 scenes per hour.

*44% of kids say they watch different movies when they are alone than with their parents.

*60% of teens state they acquire their information regarding sex and sexual health from TV and movies, as opposed to a healthcare provider or family member.

The good news is that some movies might inspire us to be better people and stand up to fight for our freedom, families and lives. Any John Wayne movie is a good example. Movies like High Noon or Gettysburg which show incredible examples to emulate, without excessive graphic violence can be some of the most cathartic and awesome cinematic experiences leaving us wanting to be better people.

John Wayne. Now, that's more like it. Right, kids?