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Violence and DesensitizationMedia Violence and DesensitizationPatricia GreenleafWalden University
2Desensitization happens when a person has decreased aversion to violent or other disturbing events. Romer et al. (2014) confirm this by stating that desensitization occurs when individuals who are repeatedly exposed to disturbing content has a reduced emotional response to that content. When there is desensitization to violence or other disturbing content, those individuals begin to normalize what is happening or downplay the effects (Vossen, Piotrowski, & Valkenburg, 2016).In one study of parental desensitization, parents were shown levels ofviolent and sexual clips of movies. They were asked to indicate what age group would these movies be appropriate for Romer et al. (2014). As time passed and parents continued to watch the clips, the age of appropriateness decreased in number. In other words, as they continued to watch, they lowered the age of the child for which the movies would be appropriate. The symptoms of desensitization are explained by Mrug, Madan, and Windle (2016). One symptom they discovered was emotional desensitization. They researched how children were emotionally desensitized due to their exposure to violence. It was found that even if there were initial bouts of depression, anxiety, or stress, after watching the clips over and over again, the emotional response would lessen. Then adolescents' would experience a dampening of their emotions and would, therefore, experience less depression, anxiety, or stress (Mrug, Madan, & Windle, 2016).
3This dampening effect could be a blessing and a curse. This numbing