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First things first, what is antisocial behavior. It is not millennials idea of having no social life because they spent the day studying for chemistry or logged 46 hours of Call of Duty in a 48 hour period. Antisocial behavior is defined as aggression towards people, animals, property and a general disdain for regulations (Clark, Cornelius and Michael, 2002). However menacing the antisocial person is, they are America’s favorite person.
In her article “Media and Children’s Aggression, Fear, and Altruism,” Barbra Wilson wrote, “No issue in the media effects arena has received as much attention as violence.” Just off the top of my head, I can name over 20 shows, characters, video games and other media with violence as a recurring theme. My personal favorite show on right now is American Horror Story: Hotel. If we were to analyze this show, we would wonder if there were any “good guy” characters at all. Yet the show has averaged just under three million viewers aged 18-49 for its season so far (TV Series Finale, 2016). It’s no secret that violent themes are what people want to see.
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We even watch shows about recuperating individuals who exhibit antisocial characteristics. Beyond Scared Straight is a TV show that took the 1978 Scared Straight documentary and made it into a multi-series TV sensation. This docu-reality series tracked 3.7 million viewers in its second season premiere and continued on for six more seasons (IMBD, 2011). While the show received some flak from concerned audience members for the show’s violence and inappropriate behavior towards children, it would be a difficult feat to deny its success as a TV show.
According to Mayo Clinic, treatment of antisocial behavior includes psychotherapy and medications but treatment can be tricky because people with the disorder often don’t think that they need it (Mayo Clinic Staff). Considering the excessive presence of violence in the media due to its obvious success, will we event correct this trend?