Monday, January 07, 2008



A pair of economists have come up with a theory that watching violent movies decreases the amount of violent crime:

Young men are the most likely to commit violent crimes. In opting to see a movie — even one featuring, say, gang rape or chain-saw amputation — they forgo activities that have a greater tendency to encourage mayhem, like drinking and drug use.

“Economics is about choice,” Professor Dahl said. “What would these people have done if they had not chosen to go and see a movie? Whatever they would have done would have had a greater tendency to involve alcohol. If you can incapacitate a large group of potentially violent people, that’s a good thing.”

Professor DellaVigna added, “It’s not as if these people watching violent movies would otherwise be home reading a book.” (NY Times)

It's an interesting bit of junk science, I guess, but it holds as much weight as the theory that violent movies cause violent crime.

I'm sure that on-screen violence probably soothes some fetishistic desires in the sickos, as well as negatively influencing the mind of the babe, but as to what extent?... who knows. It's like the argument that pornography keeps sexual deviants from doing their evil.

Maybe... maybe not. There are too many psychological variables to consider that just aren't traceable yet.

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