Not So Alone
My concern about media's influence isn't so much for children in supportive families," said developmental psychologist Carla Seal-Wanner, "but for those who lack other mediating influences. For them, media can have a more powerful, even dominant socializing role."
There's a lot to inspire concern in the media that young people love, especially to those of us raised on less harsh, less confrontational styles. On top of the quantity and intensity of violence, a trend in some ways even more distressing is the rage that has been increasingly shaping youth entertainment over the past two decades. It's in the rappers, the rockers, the games, the movies, even the cartoons and comic books kids love. Action heroes don't step up stoically to fight the bad guy but snarl, "This time it's personal!" Video game martial artists stomp on their fallen foes and turn to the player with a sadistic sneer. Eminem acts as though he's conciliating his critics for his anti‐ gay slurs by performing at the Grammies with Elton John, and then concludes by giving the world the finger. A gay teenager in one of my workshops loved Eminem for blasting the hypocritical adult world with his anger, even when the anger seemed directed at young men like himself. Then he flung himself back into his funny but angry story about a prostitute setting up a hypocritical cop for a fall. When I asked another kid, a smart, academically successful kid who