Let me start by saying that you, once more, have tackled an issue which is relevant and much debated, like most themes you have tackled before. So my dear AntiNietzsche congrats on yet another well worded analysis.
Now that the stroking ego hand has paused, let me get down to what I do best; comment.
First and foremost, I’d like to point out that my commentary may sound more like a tribute to the Freudian idea of sexuality apparent in most parts of an individual’s development and later on maturity. So in that spirit imagine for a moment if we swap the words “violence” for “sexuality” or even better yet “libido”. Why am I doing this? Well, it has been apparent to me for quite some time now that the sexual development of an individual is, just like in your case mentioned above, affected by television/media. Just as many studies conducted on violence attributed to television programs, so have been done when it comes to sexually explicit shows, movies, games, music and so on. As you may have experienced yourself growing up, as much as violence was prevalent in TV shows, just as much sexual innuendo (or full right sexually explicit imagery) was just as easily available to us all. I’d like to bring to your attention three cartoons I grew up watching; Inspector Lupin, The 12 Knights of the Zodiac and last but not least Sailor Moon (yeah I was a real geek), not to mention Disney’s Classic and not so classic. Let me show you what I’m talking about here;
a) Inspector Lupin was a very influential character for me for he had an insatiable sex-drive and even though this was gratuitously directed to the ladies, I couldn’t help but see him as a sex-symbol. Though the cartoon was quite graphic as I remember when it came to him fighting crime, just as much his libido was, dare I say “explosive”, so much so that it made watching him almost make me wanna “explode”. The sexual drive was so unbearable that at times it became almost violent in IT trying to express itself on the outside, which in my case were attempts from my part to be as sexually forward as he was to my male classmates.
b) The 12 Knights of the Zodiac, follows a more undercurrent of male erotica by showing 12 heroes/brothers in arms, all belonging to a brotherhood dependent on the planets and such. Yet, during each fight in each episode, though there was plenty of violence and blood, so much so that I remember fainting once, there was also a huge amount of sexual innuendo in what each character portrayed. Point in case; facial features, speech, armor/wardrobe, weapons and above all; muscles, muscles and more dripping wet muscles from sweat and blood. There was a fine line between heroism and sadomasochism in it. Needless to say, their long swords were quite an easy attempt to once again use them as extensions of their masculinity for lack of direct phallus exposure to the audience.
c) What can I say for Jennifer Love Hewitt a.k.a Sailor Moon? I know most girls grew up watching her fight crime and all sorts of other dangers with her little school girl outfit which left very little to the imagination for the male counterparts. I’m sure it derived from the fondness of Asian males for such outfits as portrayed in many porn movies made there as much as it may have perpetuated the idea even further. Now, since I was never interested in a sexy little girl fighting crime by showing her underwear and perfect round breasts as much as she could, I did identify with her as a heroine I would one day love to be, just so I could get all the other guys’ attention.
I went to all this trouble of explaining these three characters to prove a point which I mentioned above, sexuality/libido and violence go hand in hand. So much so that in recent studies of different countries in the world have shown that the amount of violence & violent acts is at par by the amount of sexual expression or repression such a country/society has on its subjects.
Now, I understand we are talking about how media influences behavior in children and adolescents and it may have looked like I forgot that part with my explanations mentioned above, but trust me, it’s far from it. I am a fervent advocate of sexuality and libido being inborn and developing further more with the help not of parents but media, be that television, games or print. When such an innate- animal like desire for self-expression cannot be directly acquired as it is mostly the case, it must express itself using other venues, case in point would be video games. It is the slashing, kicking, killing and more that gives libido finally a venue for expression which would otherwise turn inwards into a hateful/loathing and at times criminal behavior.
In conclusion, I am not at all debunking what you stated and stand for, yet I’m not so sure we can easily dismiss what the studies have shown to prove otherwise either. Having said that, what I can and would like to debunk is the limited view of such researchers when it comes to violence as the sole cause and effect of media. Children and above all adolescents are far more sexual than they are violent. It is the subdued sexual urge which turns a person violent. Not to sound graphic or plain nasty, but it is a bully’s incapability of self-expression which lashes out as violence when indeed all he/she wants to do is reach orgasm.