The most recent rape scene in Game of Thrones is serving as a potent form of fuel for an ongoing debate: does exposure to violence in the media we consume cause behavioral problems or not? Does it do so for only an at-risk segment of the population? Would limiting the creation of violent media solve the problem of violence in our society? And what about the rights of those individuals who want to continue consuming violent media?
I have not done extensive research into the topic and only have an informal opinion to share about this matter, the sharing of which would not be conducive to much. There is however another question I would like to propose, one that seems much more important.
Is it worth the risk?
Will we, as a society, lose more by collectively deciding to not expose ourselves to violence just in case, being cautious and avoiding violent media? Or will we lose more taking the “innocent until proven guilty” approach?
There is so much suffering in the world that I have a hard time accepting a laissez-faire attitude with regards to violence in various media. I would much rather potentially avoid the horrors of violence in real life—even if down the line it is proven to be futile—than to risk contributing to it.
Image courtesy of Chad Mauger.
First published on Sahar’s Blog on 28 May 2015.