Last week the Parents Television Council (PTC) issued a press release singing the praises of Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), who spearheaded a report called 'Youth Violence: What We Need To Know.' While the report is attributed to the Subcommittee on Youth Violence of the Advisory Committee to the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate, National Science Foundation; it includes a disclaimer at the beginning that "Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the authors; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation."
In a press release issued last week, the PTC said that it applauded this report for highlighting three major risk factors: violent media, mental health, and access to guns. While there is a fair share about access to guns and mental health issues, the lion's share of the report focuses on violent media and research that supports the idea that violent video games make people aggressive.
Here is one morsel on "games" from the report (it is one of many):
"Particularly important within this corpus is research documenting risk factors for aggressive and violent behavior, especially poor parenting practices, households under economic stress, rejection from adolescent peer groups, deteriorating mental health, and intensive exposure to the fantasy world of online games that glorify violence and desensitize the viewer to its consequences. Particularly damaging is the fusion of masculinity and violence in popular culture that is consumed by adolescents in all corners of the country. The interplay, or additive nature, of these risk factors is important to consider because no single risk factor provides us with a comprehensive understanding."
The report can be found here (PDF). It is clearly a one-sided affair because it sources studies that say that video games have various ill-effects on America's youth (Brad Bushman, Ph.D., Professor of Communication and Psychology at Ohio State was one of the co-chairs on Media Violence and Youth Violence). It is no wonder that the PTC wholeheartedly embraces this study because – it thinks – it emboldens and empowers its anti-violent media message.
Thanks to Uncharted NES for the link.