Media Violence & Gender Roles

The media kids consume can have a profound impact on their learning, and social and emotional development. Kids and teens are especially vulnerable to media messages at a time in their lives when they’re looking for role models and developing their sense of self.

Violent media content

Common Sense is concerned about the impact media violence has on young people – both the massive quantity of media violence that kids are exposed to, as well as the targeted marketing of violent media content to kids and the role it plays in contributing to a culture of violence in our country.

  • Violent Content Research Act of 2013
    Current research on media violence is woefully out of date and incomplete. Common Sense has called on Congress to enact bipartisan federal legislation to support more research.
  • Media and Violence: An Analysis of Current Research
    This Common Sense research brief (Feb. 13, 2013) reviews the latest scientific research about violence in the media and its possible effects on aggressive behavior in children and teens, highlights several gaps in current research, and discusses promising new areas of study.
  • Parent Survey about Media Violence:
    Our nationwide survey revealed that three out of four parents have deep concerns about protecting kids from violence. The 2013 survey, commissioned by Common Sense and the Center for American Progress, found 75% of parents say shielding children from violence is difficult. Three out of four blame easy access to guns, and 77% of parents believe violent content in TV, movies, and video games contributes to America's culture of violence. For the full results, click here.

Gender roles in media

We are also concerned about gender stereotypes in the media and the impact these narrow–and often negative–definitions of boys’ and girls’ roles, can have on kids’ sense of identity and their interactions with peers. It can limit and distort their understanding of how the world perceives them and what they can grow up to be.

Addressing violence and stereotypes in the media takes a whole community approach, and we urge the media industry to join us in finding solutions. In addition to promoting the development of healthy media content, Common Sense is also committed to teaching young people to become savvy media critics and consumers.