PopStuff Show Notes: Episode 51: Violence in Children's Media

by | Mar 19, 2012 03:54 PM ET

I'm really excited about the forthcoming film adaptation of "The Hunger Games." And I also know that it's the sort of book that I probably wouldn't have gotten to read "until I was older" because of its violent content. So in light of "The Hunger Games" and its target audience of young adults, we thought we'd look into the question of how violence in media affects children.

  • "The Hunger Games" books: pretty violent
  • Differences in how teachers approach "The Hunger Games" in their lesson plans
  • Our ongoing refrain: We love when parents are involved with what their children are reading and available to talk to their children about their books
  • Books we read when we were too young: "In Cold Blood," a bunch of Vonnegut and "Jane Eyre" (although that last one isn't particularly violent, just generally over the head of a fifth grader)
  • The 2007 FTC report on marketing violent entertainment to children
  • "Rain Man," rated R, released when I was 13
  • The dearth of research on violence in books, especially compared to how much research there is on the affects of movies and video games
  • That time in college when my college told me not to read "Notes from Underground"
  • Fairy tales, particularly "Snow White," and how they often show violence in the context of punishing evildoers and doing your duty in a time of war
  • The violence and torture present in "Harry Potter"
  • The violence in "The Hobbit" vs. the violence in "The Lord of the Rings" (pardon my misspeak about "the rest of the trilogy"; I know they are two different things)
  • The violence in "The Wizard of Oz" books
  • The anecdote that inspired an episode we are recording this week
  • The many barriers to good research on how violent books affect children
  • Trends in studies of video game violence and how it affects players
  •  Catharsis
  • Holly's awkward ride home after seeing "Poltergeist" as a child
  • Listener mail! This is a roundup of suggestions from listeners of our Road Trip episode. Thanks to Cindy, Lorie, Robert and Katherine.
  • Does violence in movies and video games desensitize us to the real thing?

My research:

  • Browne, Kevin D. "The influence of violent media on children and adolescents: a public-health approach." Lancet, 2005
  • Hopkins, Gerald T. "Effects of Television Violence on Young Children." Education. Vol. 109, No. 3
  • Kotrla, Bowtie. "Sex and Violence: Is Exposure to Media Content Harmful for Children?" Children and Libraries. Summer/Fall 2007
  • Proman, Jonathan M. "Liability of Media Companies for the Violent Content of their Products Marketed to Children." St. John's Law Review. Vol. 78, No. 427

Holly's research:

Episode link:  Violence in Children's Books

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