Family Violence Expert Downplays Role of Video Games in Teen Violence

During a question-and-answer session, a leading expert on family violence largely dismissed the role of video games in promoting violent behavior among teens.

Richard J. Gelles is dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania and also serves as the director of the Center for Research on Youth and Social Policy.

Gelles, who has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning, America and Oprah answered readers’ questions about violence over the last few days on, the website of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News.

While reading over Dr. Gelles’ answers to numerous reader-submitted questions, we noticed this exchange:

Q: Excuse me sir, but what is your opinion on video games and the lack of parenting to control the ever increasing teen violence? A student, Philadelphia, Pennslyvania 10/05/06

A: Video games play almost no important role in teen violence. Teens with a predisposition to being violent may be drawn to violent video games, but overall, other factors (besides television, music, or video games) are more important risk factors for teen violence. Richard Gelles 10/05/06

We should mention that GamePolitics editor Dennis McCauley writes a column on video games for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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  1. 0

    Avoiding School And Teen Violence

    REASON ONE: A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales. The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small. The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. Irritated, the teacher reiterated that a whale could not swallow human; it was physically impossible . The little girl said, “When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah”. The teacher asked, “What if Jonah went to hell?” The little girl replied, “Then you ask him “.

    REASON TWO: A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they were drawing. She would occasionally walk around to see each child’s work. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, “I’m drawing God.” The teacher paused and said, “But no one knows what God looks like.” Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, “They will in a minute.”

    See all seven reasons:

  2. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    its nice to see a PHD with brains …I am getting tired of the wind bag wacko jacko….they make a perfect pair tho……jacko and dabya….we dont know what the hell we are doing but we are going to do it anyway.

  3. 0
    Heil Halo says:

    Thank god someone gets it. At least someone cares about possible factors in school violence aside from video games.
    Watch now as this guy will get crucified for doing the right thing. What a crazy world.

  4. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Again, another true expert whom will never be heard by politicians, as he has no “easy” answers and he woud lrequire real work to be done, and who should be in politics, but won’t be.

  5. 0
    Gino says:

    So let’s see, who would be a better resource on video game violence, a dean of school of social and policy at a very reputable university with a Ph.D. in psychology or an bitter failed attorney with a vendetta, hmmmmm…

  6. 0
    hayabusa75 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It seems like we’re seeing more support from folks like him these days; I dunno, maybe it’s just my imagination. I just feel like when I joined Gamepolitics back in June, there were hardly any articles about meaningful people who were on our side.

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