Don't tell your teens about this
Can I add a rant here and suggest more parents should be listening to talks like this. I'm amazed, shocked actually, at the number of people who buy rated M games for their little kids. I'm not talking tweens and near teens, I'm talking 6 year olds proudly showing off the Grand Theft Auto game their dad just bought them. And how many times have you been in an R-rated movie and seen a 7 year old sitting nearby? Too often.0
The guest speaker at this talk is a noted pediatrician, Dr. Victor Strasburger, chief of the Division on Adolescent Medicine from the University of New Mexico School. This guy knows his stuff. He’s written more than 120 articles and books on the subject of how media affects a child’s behavior and he was honored in 2000 by the American Academy of Pediatrics for outstanding lifetime achievement in adolescent medicine.
He has been needling parents and pediatricians for years to take the research seriously. "The connection between media violence and real-life aggression is nearly as strong as the connection between smoking and lung cancer," he wrote in an article in Pediatrics, the journal for children's medicine.
Overall, an estimated 10 to 30 percent of violence in society can be attributed to the impact of media violence, he says. So media violence is not the leading cause of violence in society, but it is a significant one, and one that's easier to fix than other root causes
The talk is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 16 at All Children’s Specialty Care of Carillon, 900 Carillon Parkway, in St. Petersburg. Seating is limited so call (727) 767-4188 or go here to RSVP for this free seminar.
-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne
[Photo: Sniper scene from the Grand Theft Auto video game]