How children perceive violence on the screen

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How children perceive violence on the screen

Common Sense Media has just finished a study looking at all the research on media violence and aggressive behavior, and it's very difficult to draw a causal relationship between the two, but there is a lot of correlation. We know that media violence is a risk factor for kids who are aggressive, so what's important is that we continue to do this research, and then, honestly, in our own lives as families, really reflect on "What do we want our kids to be consuming in terms of the media?" When I hear people say, "Well, it's not causal," I stop and say, "Okay, but what do you want? Would you prefer to have your child playing a video game that is more nurturing and beautiful and collaborative, or would you prefer to have them play a game that is shooting?" Here's an exercise for those of us who have boys, and I do, who play video games. The next time they're in the family room playing a first-person shooter video game, or something that's got that kind of violence in it, step out of the room and sit down and just listen. What you will hear is this rapid fire gun sound that, if you really stop and reflect, "Is that what we want them to be doing with their time?" So what we do at Common Sense Media is give you the option to find other video games for your 14-year-old that don't contain violence. There's a list of them on our website, and--believe me--kids actually really love them.

See Linda Burch, MBA's video on How children perceive violence on the screen...


Expert Bio

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Linda Burch, MBA

Chief Education & Strategy Officer

Linda Burch is a co-founder and the Chief Education and Strategy Officer of Common Sense Media, a not-for-profit dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and the independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology. Linda leads Common Sense Media’s education efforts, new program and strategy development.   She is the architect of Common Sense Media’s K-12 Digital Literacy and Citizenship program that is now being used in over 35,000 schools across the country.  Her current focus is on steering strategic development of Common Sense Media’s new learning ratings initiative and establishing international partnerships to bring Common Sense Media’s digital literacy and citizenship programs to countries around the globe.   

Prior to Common Sense, Linda was Senior Vice President of Business Development and Corporate Planning at SyStemix, a biotechnology company that she helped build and then sold to Novartis. From 1985 to 1990 she was a strategic management consultant at McKinsey & Company in New York, where she served healthcare and consumer-products companies and prior to that she spent five years in investment banking at Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch, where she negotiated joint ventures between U.S. technology companies and the People's Republic of China.  Linda received her MBA from Stanford University and her bachelor's degree from Yale.  She has two kids who love media as much as they love being outside.




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