You mean it’s not the videogames?

by Walter Olson on October 18, 2007

This can’t be true — too many policymakers and activists have invested careers in the contrary:

It is not the cartoons that make your kids smack playmates or violently grab their toys but, rather, a lack of social skills, according to new research.

“It’s a natural behavior and it’s surprising that the idea that children and adolescents learn aggression from the media is still relevant,” says Richard Tremblay, a professor of pediatrics, psychiatry and psychology at the University of Montreal, who has spent more than two decades tracking 35,000 Canadian children (from age five months through their 20s) in search of the roots of physical aggression. “Clearly youth were violent before television appeared.”

(Nikhil Swaminathan, “Taming Baby Rage: Why Are Some Kids So Angry?”, Scientific American, Oct. 16).