Saturday, November 12, 2011

creating a history of violence

Overturning a similar decision in Indianapolis, Federal Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner noted: "Violence has always been and remains a central interest of humankind and a recurrent, even obsessive theme of culture both high and low. It engages the interest of children from an early age, as anyone familiar with the classic fairy tales collected by Grimm, Andersen, and Perrault are aware." Posner adds, "To shield children right up to the age of 18 from exposure to violent descriptions and images would not only be quixotic, but deforming; it would leave them unequipped to cope with the world as we know it."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I think I agree with Posner but only up to a point. It's not necessary to inundate children with violence and I think parents and others need to be mindful of how young minds process it. We tend to not think of humans as animals, but we are, we are mammals and omnivores, and violence is a part of our lives on this planet.

We use violence to obtain food. We use violence to defend our homes and country. I personally think that in a perfect world, these would be the only ways in which we'd use violence consciously.

But people exist who enjoy violence, killing, and have no problem with using violence to get what they want. This is as true for international terrorists as for a bank robber with a gun.

There is also unintended violence -- car accidents, for example -- and natural violence -- hurricanes and tornadoes, earthquakes and tsunamis, etc.

So, children do need to learn about violence and how to respond to all the different kinds. It's too bad that the discourse about violent video games, movies and TV shows couldn't emphasize the educational opportunities they offer for parents.....