Most Americans agree that violent movies and violent video games lead to more violence in society, a new poll finds. A new national survey conducted by Rasmussen Reports finds 52% of American Adults think violent video games lead to more violence in our society and 51% say the same of violent movies.
The percentage believing violent video games lead to more violence is up from 46% in 2014 but in line with findings in July 2012 just weeks after the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado. The percentage believing violent movies lead to violence in society is unchanged from three years ago, though down from a high of 62% in 2011.
Thirty-one percent (31%) of Americans do not blame violent video games for the seeming increase in societal violence and 16% are not sure. Thirty-five percent (35%) disagree on violent movies and 15% are undecided. But those most likely to go to the movies and play video games are the least critical of them. Those under 40 are far less likely than their elders to see either as leading to more violence in our society.
Worth noting, the Council on Communications and Media from the American Academy of Pediatrics agrees with the majority of Americans. A study entitled Media Violence published on November 1, 2009, concludes:
Research has associated exposure to media violence with a variety of physical and mental health problems for children and adolescents, including aggressive and violent behavior, bullying, desensitization to violence, fear, depression, nightmares, and sleep disturbances… Several different psychological and physiologic processes underlie media violence on aggressive attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and emotions, and these are well understood.
In other words, mass shooters such as Nikolas Cruz, Adam Lanza, Jared Loughner, and other already-troubled individuals are emboldened by and act upon behaviors depicted in media and entertainment. The minds of growing, otherwise normal children are polluted by them, as well.
The national survey of 1,000 American adults was conducted from February 21-22, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. See methodology.