What Are Video Games Turning Us Into?

by Tracy Mayor | Boston Globe Magazine | February 20, 2005

One of the more worrisome effects of video games is desensitization. Seeing violence repeated over and over can make kids more willing to
choose and tolerate violence.

“As a society, we can inoculate against aggression, but we don’t have the same set of social checks and balances
against desensitization”, says Dr. John Murray
, a visiting scholar at CMCH.

“Murray uses MRI technology to map the brains of children as they experience violent media images. He found that though
children consciously know they’re being entertained, their brains store those violent images in the area reserved
for significant events, the same place where events that can trigger post-traumatic stress disorders are stored.”

“This begins to explain why kids who watch a
lot of violent images are more likely to lash out in a confrontational situation,” Murray says.

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Young Ears Can Be Tainted By Rap Music

by Wendi C. Thomas | Greater Memphis Commercial Appeal | February 15, 2005

Most adults who have listened to rap lyrics would probably agree that a heavy diet of sexually explicit and violent rap music is bad for kids. If you don’t agree that these songs are bad for their minds, you may want to know that there are health
consequences as well.

“What we’re seeing is that girls who watch more rap music videos have more STDs and have more sexual partners
compared to girls who have little exposure to those videos,” says Dr. Michael Rich
, Director of CMCH, citing an Emory University study. “Does that mean the rap videos did it to them?” Rich asks. “No. But it does mean they’re associated, much like lead exposure in children is linked to lower IQs.”

“We have to deal with music the same way we deal with automobiles or tobacco. There are risks associated with using these products. We’re not saying they have to be taken off the market. We’re saying there are health implications,” Dr. Rich says.