There is no link between violence in movies and video games and societal violence, claims a new study.
The study conducted at Stetson University found that increased violent video game consumption correlates with declines in youth violence.
Christopher Ferguson from Stetson University conducted two studies that raised the question whether the incidence of violence in media correlates with actual violence rates in society. The first study looked at movie violence and homicide rates between 1920 and 2005. The second study looked at videogame violence consumption and its relationship to youth violence rates from 1996-2011.
Ferguson found that societal consumption of media violence is not predictive of increased violence rates in society.
Ferguson said that the society had a limited amount of resources and attention to devote to the problem of reducing crime. There was a risk that identifying the wrong problem, such as media violence, may distract society from more pressing concerns such as poverty, education and vocational disparities and mental health and this research may help society focus on issues that really matter and avoid devoting unnecessary resources to the pursuit of moral agendas with little practical value.
The study is published in the Journal of Communication.