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The first-ever Surgeon Generals report on youth violence was recently released by Dr David Satcher a Clinton appointee who still holds his position in the Bush Administration The report hardly made a ripple in the public debate but what caught my attention was the press reports regarding what wasnt in the report rather than what was In a press conference when the report was released Dr Satcher was asked about media violence and he responded that the media is not a major influence on youth violence As someone who has read dozens of studies and reports about the impact of media violence on children and society I was surprised to hear this It sounded eerily like a recent report on ABCs 2020 claiming that media violence does not cause violence and may actually be good for kids But what about the voluminous stack of research reports on the impact of media violence on youth When a TV news magazine claims that TV violence is not dangerous I dont take it too seriously but the Surgeon Generals report was a different matter More importantly I wondered how parents and others would respond to the news This article takes a careful look at the new report the 2020 story and the research on media violence and tries to figure out what is going on On ABC Jonathan Freedman a psychology professor at Toronto University who happens to receive funding from the Motion Picture Association of America claimed that research does not support the notion that media violence causes aggression He trashes reports by the American Psychological Association the American Academy of Pediatrics and others that claim that more than 1000 studies prove the case against media violence saying There arent over a thousand studies There are about 200 studies give or take a few depending on which ones you count Isnt 200 enough I would have thought so but perhaps I am biased because
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