Kids To Kill"
Methods in this Madness: Brutalization
The training methods the military uses are brutalization,
classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and role modeling.
Let us explain these and then observe how the media does
the same thing to our children, but without the safeguards.
or “values inculcation,” is what happens at boot camp. Your
head is shaved, you are herded together naked, and dressed
alike, losing all vestiges of individuality. You are trained
relentlessly in a total immersion environment. In the end
you embrace violence and discipline and accept it as a normal
and essential survival skill in your brutal new world.
Something very similar is happening to our children through
violence in the media. It begins at the age of 18 months,
when a child can begin to understand and mimic what is on
television. But up until they're six or seven years old
they are developmentally, psychologically, physically unable
to discern the difference between fantasy and reality. Thus,
when a young child sees somebody on TV being shot, stabbed,
raped, brutalized, degraded, or murdered, to them it is
real, and some of them embrace violence and accept it as
a normal and essential survival skill in a brutal new world.
(Grossman & DeGaetano, 1999).
June 10th, 1992, the Journal of the American Medical
Association (JAMA) published a definitive study
on the impact of TV violence. In nations, regions, or cities
where television appears there is an immediate explosion
of violence on the playground, and within 15 years there
is a doubling of the murder rate. Why 15 years? That's how
long it takes for a brutalized toddler to reach the “prime
crime” years. That's how long it takes before you begin
to reap what you sow when you traumatize and desensitize
children. (Centerwall, 1992).
The JAMA concluded that, “the introduction of television
in the 1950’s caused a subsequent doubling of the homicide
rate, i.e., long-term childhood exposure to television is
a causal factor behind approximately one half of the homicides
committed in the United States, or approximately 10,000
homicides annually.” The study went on to state that “...if,
hypothetically, television technology had never been developed,
there would today be 10,000 fewer homicides each year in
the United states, 70,000 fewer rapes, and 700,000 fewer
injurious assaults” (Centerwall, 1992).
the data linking violence in the media to violence in society
is superior to that linking cancer and tobacco. The American
Psychological Association (APA), the American Medical Association
(AMA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Surgeon
General, and the Attorney General have all made definitive
statements about this. When I presented a paper to the American
Psychiatric Association’s (APA) annual convention in May,
2000 (Grossman, 2000), the statement was made that: “The
data is irrefutable. We have reached the point where we
need to treat those who try to deny it, like we would treat
of Violence, Peace, and Conflict, Volume 3, p.159
© 1999 by Academic Press. All rights of reproduction
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