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Archive for March, 2016

Parenting & Hunting | Exposing Children to Violence II

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TEACH THEM YOUNG | POOR PARENTING

I have tried in vain to not post images about trophy hunting or any hunting, simply because it provokes so much rage, anger, and hatred. However I have yet again violated my own self discipline, because I am angered to the core of witnessing selfish and arrogant parents displaying poor parenting, not forgetting the obvious, teaching their young children during the developmental brain stage, that killing animals is pretty much okay, because mummy and daddy does it.

Violence is violence, and abuse is abuse at the end of the day, killing an animal and allowing your child to watch such horror and gore, or act out is no different to that of placing your child in-front of a (16, 17 18 or 21) age restricted movie, adult film or violent video game. While films and video games are though mostly faked, hunting isn’t. Furthermore while the human brain develops from the ages of 1-21, any such displays of violence, abuse, neglect or harm can heavily imprint onto the child within this developing process. Which in turn can change a child’s thought process and in many cases – corrupt a child’s brain, for how long though depends on the severity of violence exposed.

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Violence is ubiquitous and often glorified, and within today’s hunting theater violence is glorified as an acceptable behavior. Hunters may and do argue this, however they must remember that at the end of the day, violence is violence. Whether its killing an animal with a shot gun, cross bow, or breaking a rabbits neck, these acts are still ‘violent’, and they are “acted out”. Then of course comes the ‘glorification’, whereas back in the early 1950’s and 1970’s such acts like the one pictured above wouldn’t be glorified.

Watching a suspense movie, playing a violent video game can often be seen as a form of relaxation, exactly like recreational hunting. Surely there is nothing wrong with this? Evidence is continuing to mount, that these so called “relaxing thriller and suspense movies, action packed and violent video games, down to hunting be it for food or sport” is indeed having a profound and ‘non-relaxing effect’ onto the human brain.

Like I have explained, when such suspense, violence or action packed sport are relayed and projected onto minors within the “brain developmental stage”, such behavior or actions can have a disastrous effect onto the human brain and our way of thinking. Dress it up as much as you want, call it what you like, abuse is abuse, violence is violence. They are both linked.

A study by the Indiana University School of Medicine examined young men and violent media exposure. There were visible alterations in MRI brain scans after only one week of playing a violent video game. In particular, there was a significant decrease in the activation of prefrontal portions of the brain and a greater activation of the amygdala. Now some hunters may disagree here, however lets go over this one sentence again. “Examined young men and violent media exposure”. Violent video exposure or any exposure from anything that is deemed as violent can in both men and women have a profound effect onto the main thought and thinking process. This has also been linked to depression, especially those in countries with little sunlight and poor weather.

From what I am aware, the study conducted by the Indiana University School of Medicine is one of the first such studies of its kind. So its going to be pretty interesting to examine the results when further studies are rolled out worldwide, and if these conclusive reports will eventually prompt governments, media producers, and hunting outfitters to eventually impose restrictions relating to exposing children and minors to violence. The video game above is a prime example of “acting out violence”.

The young viewer states they love animals and would never harm them, yet uses language such as “come here you little bitch, we fucked up, we’ll get our revenge, come on get that mother fucker”. Again some hunters may disagree here, and believe this is nothing more than silly childish banter. The fact is, the video gamer agrees that she loves animals, yet is prepared to kill them within a simulated game. Brain study evidence also proves that prolonged exposure to such violent video games can increase depression, self harm, lower ones thinking process, concentration and see the individual committing a violent act after prolonged gaming. There is also evidence that points to video gamer’s wanting to “do the real thing”. I.e Go out and purchase a gun, and enact the same behavior from that game within real life.

But the findings are intriguing and beg the question: Does an activation of the limbic system and an inhibition of the prefrontal cortex predispose to violent behavior? This is a relatively easy proposition to test and I suspect we will see more studies soon. Meanwhile the University of Alabama conducted an identical study, and that study also showed up exactly the same results from the study conducted in Indiana.

Results from the main Alabama and Indiana study showed violent and aggressive traits didn’t occur soon after watching “violent and aggressive video games”. However violent and aggressive traits did occur some months, to a year after being playing such action packed games. I myself have always tried to explain this concern to hunters when they debate and argue with me. They believe that one violent act doesn’t lead directly to another, and that’s true, which both the studies pointed out.

However, unfortunately, its the “prolonged over and over again exposure to such aggression and violence that eventually does increase violent and abusive tendencies to unfold”. The neurological examination team concluded “The study concludes with a caution for parents that immature and/or aggressive children should not have access to violent films”. Again some hunting families may argue here, and debate profusely that hunting is not under any circumstances identical to that of playing a violent video again.

To a degree the average family hunter are correct, its not identical, however there are many identical features within such games that are played out in hunting I.e: Killing, Abuse, Death, Violence, Murder, Bad Language, Glory and Torture. So theoretically speaking, hunting and exposing ones child to such hunting practices, or allowing a child to hunt, (is a form of violence), and can eventually “over time”, see aggressive and abusive traits played out, all of which is no different to playing an action packed violent video game, or watching continuously many violent, abusive and suspense movies.

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The Macquarie University Children and Families Research Center found that children who watch violent movies are more likely to view the world as an unsympathetic, malicious and scary place and that this stimulates aggression. It also suggests children are more likely to exhibit combative behavior while becoming desensitized to violence. Reportedly, the MRI brain scans of children who have viewed film or television violence had a similar look when compared to those who have violently acted out. So we know that children who “act out” within video games in the same manner as “hunting” are more than likely to “act out violence”, than those who simply watch an action packed aggression filled movie.

It is without a doubt that all studies that are being conducted and have been concluded thus far by neurologists, and psychiatrists have shown “children who act out within violent games” all show at a later date brain changes, aggressive behavior, and poor decision making”. Unfortunately there will be deniers in relation to this article, reports and follow-ups. Just like there were deniers that stated five decades ago, smoking doesn’t cause cancer, drinking doesn’t cause liver disease Etc.

Regardless of whether its a video game, watching television or participating down to exposing hunting behavior to minors. When violence is portrayed, over a prolonged period of time. At some point there will be children who’s brains cannot handle the mass degree of violence, that then, unfortunately go out and commit a violent act. The Virginia Tech Research Division stated; “Studies showed students several non-violent movies, followed by super-violent movies. Results indicated violent films can increase hostile behavior”. 

Article 1: http://www.research.vt.edu/resmag/sciencecol/media_violence.html

Article 2: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4227415/

Article 3: http://www.researchonline.mq.edu.au/vital/access/manager/Repository/mq:21163?f0=type%3A%22book+chapter%22

Article 4: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2516427/Sandy-Hook-shooter-Adam-Lanza-83k-online-kills-massacre.html

Taking ones child out and “playing or acting out” a violent sport, shooting, cross bow, or just snaring, is no different to sitting your child down in front of a video game that is violent, thus allowing ones child to “act out a violent act”. Shooting an animal is no different to shooting a human. The sooner hunters and governments around the globe understand this, the better. Then we may eventually see a decrease in violent youth behavior.

 

Dr Jose C. Depre – PhD. MEnvSc. BSc(Hons) Botany, PhD(NeuroSci) D.V.M. Environmental & Human Science

Environmental and Botanical Scientist. 

 

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