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Effects of Media Violence on Society

(Last Updated On: 5th May 2023)

Introduction/ The Effects of Media Violence on Society

Media violence is the depiction of violent or aggressive behavior through various forms of media, including movies, television, video games, and music. The prevalence of media violence has increased significantly in recent years, raising concerns about its impact on society. This write-up explores the effects of media violence on society.

Desensitization to Violence:

One of the most significant effects of media violence is desensitization. Repeated exposure to violent content can lead individuals to become numb to violence, making it easier for them to accept and even justify violent behavior. A study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that exposure to violent media was associated with increased aggression, desensitization to violence, and decreased empathy (APA, 2005).

Aggressive Behavior:

Media violence has also been linked to aggressive behavior. Several studies have found that individuals who are exposed to violent media are more likely to engage in aggressive behavior. For example, a study conducted by Anderson and Dill (2000) found that playing violent video games led to an increase in aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behavior in both adults and children.

Long-Term Effects:

The effects of media violence are not limited to short-term aggression and desensitization. Long-term exposure to violent media has been linked to a range of negative outcomes, including increased risk of criminal behavior, substance abuse, and mental health problems (Ferguson, 2015). A longitudinal study conducted by Huesmann et al. (2003) found that exposure to media violence during childhood predicted aggression and criminal behavior in adulthood.


While there is significant evidence linking media violence to negative outcomes, some argue that the link is weak and that other factors may contribute to aggressive behavior. For example, some argue that individuals who are already predisposed to aggression may be more likely to seek out violent media. However, research suggests that even individuals who are not predisposed to aggression can be affected by media violence (APA, 2005).


In conclusion, media violence has a significant impact on society, leading to desensitization, aggressive behavior, and long-term negative outcomes. While some may argue that the link between media violence and negative outcomes is weak, research suggests that the effects are significant and cannot be ignored. It is important for parents, educators, and policymakers to understand the impact of media violence and take steps to reduce exposure to violent media.


American Psychological Association. (2005). Violence in the Media: Psychologists Help Protect Children from Harmful Effects. Retrieved from

Anderson, C. A., & Dill, K. E. (2000). Video games and aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behavior in the laboratory and in life. Journal of Personality and social psychology, 78(4), 772–790.

Ferguson, C. J. (2015). Does media violence predict societal violence? It depends on what you look at and when. Journal of Communication, 65(1), E1–E22.

Huesmann, L. R., Moise-Titus, J., Podolski, C. L., & Eron, L. D. (2003). Longitudinal relations between children’s exposure to TV violence and their aggressive and violent behavior in young adulthood: 1977–1992. Developmental psychology, 39(2), 201–221.  Retrieved from

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