In any part of the world where violence is concerned, men and women are not necessarily in the same league. A vast number brutal crime perpetrators involved more men than women. The modern battle zone likewise outnumbers women while historic wars were fought with male bravado. Crime offenders making use of brutal force against another person or entity are comparatively committed more by men than by women. This overall pattern of consistency reflects that man has indeed a violent nature. In support of male behavioural patterns, psychologists like Cunningham et al. (1998) believed that men are more predisposed to patterns of violent behaviour. Although the magnitude of male violence may vary in different culture and societies, the prevalence of violence based on recent data and relevant history strongly supports male physical aggression. The culture of masculinity has strongly supported toughness, dominance, repression of empathy and competitiveness according to Dussin (p. 330) so much that in effect society has catapulted violence as an acceptable issue among men.
The likelihood of societal pressures imposed upon the male gender as a theory supporting the existence of male violence has been heavily expanded. Dussin for example in teaching boys to be non-violent (p.393) without necessarily loosing their supposed “maleness” theorized how a public medium like “cultural messages” (p. 329) specially in movies and video games that taught boys to be tough (p.330). Dussin therefore taps the role of the media in male violence in movies, television, video games and daily news (p.331). Reed argued that while popular entertainment offers aggressive encounters of men (p.86), it does not however prove the dynamic role media plays in male violence. The media could not be called in to represent a cathartic role while viewers are safely watching in their seats. The media’s role is limited to providing a safe experience for viewers to experience encounters in life as explained by Reed (p. 86). These experiences are brought to the viewers through movies, talk shows, soap operas that had even sought to endorse male violence as a redundant thing of the past not necessarily acceptable to the present era.
For centuries, males have been stereotyped to possess battering attitudes that paved the way for a translation of male violence. Yet our history, culture and religion allowed us to accept that male violence is a biblical fact. In effect, Cunningham et al believed that the complexity of this problem has increased theoreticians who attempt to provide explanations that typically focus on societal factors (1998). The media’s recent entry in the 20th century has in fact yielded favourable outcomes against the consensus of male violence. While the media strives to reinforce an ideology of free will among its viewers and portraying the essential need to correct the notion of accepted male violence. In fact news reports strive to create an image of wrong particularly in partner violence movies and reports; while the repeated exposure has created numerous sympathies for the victim. In effect, the media strongly advocates against non-violence as a safety net among its viewers. While Dussin created a point of departure when she tapped the exclusive contribution of media cultures in male violence, she thus seemed to deviate from the diverse subjectivities of many media viewers.
In the context of male violence, it is also clear that the masculinist culture is not yet prepared to examine its own pathology. Dussin’s belief seems to strongly support how violence and masculinity is not a problem but a rational behaviour made harmful due to existent factors like the media are present in the society. Dussin may have forgotten how evolutionary perspectives chained male violence to the masculine struggle to propagate and dominate according to Barash (p.b7). In an effort to provide explanation to male behaviour and patterns of violence that has existed since time immemorial, Dussin dwells on the external factors like the media as a possible culprit. How can this belief justify the continued existence of male violence prior to the media’s birth?
The likelihood of Dussin dwelling on the biological explanation of male struggle and extreme violence as a necessary action of the male specie in order to dominate and control sexual reproduction has been terribly ignored. In fact, no amount of media coverage can justify the evolutionary theories that scientifically backed the cycle of violence and “killing establishment” perpetrated by an overwhelming number of males. To some degree, the amount of sexual competition during the act reproduction when male sperm cells compete with an overwhelming number of other sperm cells for access to the egg cell marks the beginning of male violence. For Barash, violence in fact happens early in life as a natural selection process that has outfitted males with the tools for success (b7). The biological theory of human behaviour cannot entirely dismiss how men in an animal world behave like nonhumans when competition is intense.
To examine serious violent crimes with men as frequent perpetrators, most murders are likely committed to other male victims which theoretically supports that violence is a crime men committed against other men as explained in Barash (p. b7). Over the wide historical records, men have initiated violence with immensity and the media sees to it that male violence is portrayed as distressingly immature and inconsequential over the years. Thus delegating an exclusive contribution of media cultures in male violence deviates from the diverse subjectivities of media viewers composed of both men and women in the society. Interpreting ideas of aggression in media is point of contention that discusses why certain individuals can exercise a modicum of control while others cannot in a viewing experience.
The study conducted by Gentile, Walsh et al (2004) among children to correlate violence and media exposure revealed a negative significance while accepting the serious weakness of the study. The study had originally hooked itself on Anderson and Dills 2000 Aggression Model that created links between media violence exposure and aggressive conditions, attitudes and behaviours (Gentile et al). The study cannot clearly pinpoint the role of media to violence; much less create a link between male violence in adults. Dussin’s claims are therefore a premature expansion of a theory that sought to support the conditions of certain external factors associated with male violence. To this date, no concrete evidence can without doubt predispose the media’s social construction in an era of male violence.
Creed, Barbara. Media Matrix: Sexing the New Reality. Allen and Unwin, 2003.
Barash, David P. “Evolution, males and Violence.” The Chronicle of Higher Education. (2002, May 24):B7.
Cunningham, Alison et al. “Theory-Derived Explanations of Male Violence against Female Partners: Literature Update and Related Implications for Treatment and Evaluation.” London Family Court(1998). 5 Dec. 2007 http://www.lfcc.on.ca/maleviolence.pdf
Dussin, Kelly. Teaching Boys to be Non-violent and Still be Boys.
American Psychological Society. “Gentile, Douglas A., Walsh, David A. et al. Media Violence as a Risk Factor for Children: A Longitudinal Study.” Convention Papers. 16th Chicago Annual Convention, 18 May, 2004.