Back asswards

Quote from a story in the NYT:

For example, Brenda Stanhouse, who bought the game for her son, 15 years old at the time, said in a deposition that she did not know that a player in the game could “stomp to death innocent pedestrians.”

She also did not know that the game included prostitutes, that players could kill policemen or that “a player in the game can kill innocent pedestrians and steal money from them.”

“I’m aware that there is killing in the game,” Ms. Stanhouse said in the deposition. “I wasn’t aware of the stealing.”

Ms. Stanhouse was asked whether she would knowingly buy for her son a game that allowed him to kill police officers.

“Well, I think he does have games with violence,” Ms. Stanhouse said, adding that she would “possibly” buy such a game — though not one that contained sex scenes like those in San Andreas.

The exchange raises a deeper and perhaps more troubling question about the harm caused by the hidden scenes. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit clearly were more concerned about exposing their children to images of sex, but academic studies suggest that images of violence — abundant in the games — should be of greater concern.
Putting aside my own ambivalence about media influencing kids to do bad things without parents being at fault, I've thought for a while now that our whole cultural aversion to sex, as opposed to violence, is just ridiculous. If you were to marginally increase the likelihood that your child would either a) kill a police officer or b) have sex, which would you want to increase? Oddly enough, most people seem to choose option A, the option that isn't the path to our continued survival as a species.

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