Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Tortise, Apr 9, 2006.
People love to watch anything - especially things that stimulate the mind.
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I think most of the people here have the right idea, it does appeal to us on a very primal level, but while I agree that sometimes it "reinforces that the world is a violent and generally unsafe place, an effective solution to problems, that violence is safe, glamorous, gratifying and often has no apparent consequences" - I do think that we have a need to have these primal urges satisfied somehow, and having it done through empathy from the movie or TV screen isn't so bad.
I, and most people I think, really prefer the spectacular and unrealistic movies and videogames for this purpose. Honestly, I'm much more inclined to re-watch "Hero"(crazy unrealistic kung fu movie) over "Saving private Ryan"(realistic violence) or "Dogville"(very well made and interesting).
Thinking about it, I'd rather watch Dogville than SpR tho :\ And I can't understand people who were actually thrilled by the opening sequence of SpR.
Sorry, just thinking aloud here.
How do you arrive at 'most'?
The overwhelming popularity of violence for the past uh... entire history of primates.
Where is your proof it is more popular than not popular?
Are you including women in this 'most' people like violence group? We do make up more than 50% of the population you know and if we as a group mostly dislike violnce then with the male passivists we are in the majority.
Common' Roman, you know these 'most' comments have to be formally demonstrated. Demonstrate.........
Do the majority population turn up to watch blood sports, while the minority stay at home?
Or do the majorty stay home watching coronation street while a small minority watch blood sports?
Meanwhile entire history of primates? Do other primates mostly enjoy violence? Watching it, participating in it? Do they put on displays for entertainment only...to amuse other group members?
Or do they just engage when it's neccessary?
I dont know that it is mainly our deepest darkest fantasies. I think it also has to do with our society and the fact that we become desensitized (spelling?) after years of being exposed to more and more violence. I appologize for the content ahead of time---As a preteen I did my fair share of looking at porn on the internet and I was completely grossed out! Now that I am older (again Im sorry) there isnt much out there that phases me.
Let's revisit the original question for a moment: There was nothing more important to our ancestors then violence. How to avoid it, how to come out ahead in the case of etc. Sense there was not much in primitive societies that we would need to know more about then the anatomy and physiology (literally AND figuratively) of violence, doesn't it make sense that we would be interested in learning about and watching it? Would there be much bigger news in high school then if two kids got into a knock down drag out fight? This is no coincidence. We are interested in it, because it behooved our ancestors to be interested in it. Those were the ones who survived.
I shall repeat myself, does this interest in violence cross the sexes, or is it mainly a male thing, thus mainly testosterone driven. If so then 'most' of the worlds population (as more than 50% female) do NOT enjoy violence.
I suspect that this interest in violence all comes down to testosterone.
"Men and violence: do you have a problem with that?
Written by Ciaran Mulholland, consultant psychiatrist/senior lecturer in mental health
A man's world
Violence is a common feature of most societies. Statistically, we know that it's predominantly a male characteristic, particularly one of young males. In England and Wales for example, more than 90 per cent of violent offenders are male, and half of those are aged between 17 and 24. So why are men, and particularly young men, so prone to acts of violence?
One theory, known as the instinct hypothesis, proposes that aggression is a natural instinct, and has the biological function of ensuring the proper spacing of animals, thereby helping to maintain the stability of the group. The originator of this idea, Conrad Lorenz, observed that members of the same species were aggressive towards each other when they were subject to specific threats. He believed that violent instincts in man are normally expressed in a socially approved way in the modern world, for example through sport, and that failure to find such expression leads to undesirable aggressive acts. "
"Hormones in Context:
Testosterone and Aggression - Crimes of violence
Among tests with humans, several groups of normal men were given psychological tests to measure hostile or aggressive feelings. The possible link with aggression is defined in various ways, in different studies, from verbal abuse upwards.
In one test, there was correlation between the younger men but not the older ones. In another group there was no correlation at all. In another study, measurements taken over two days produced no consistent results.
The biological argument makes much of the fact that many more men than women are convicted of violent crimes. Therefore, other studies have focused on violent male criminals and psychiatric patients.
It has been found that men convicted of violent crimes have higher levels of testosterone than average men with no convictions, and that men convicted of violent crime have higher levels than men convicted of other crimes. However, there was no difference between non-criminals and men with convictions for non-violent crimes.
While there may be a consistent pattern, it does not, in fact, say anything about how it arose. Finding a high correlation between violent men in prison, does not distinguish between cause and effect. Prison, after all, is not the safest place to be, so raised testosterone might have been an effect of being in prison.
It is equally likely that a violent lifestyle leads to high testosterone level. If testosterone has some effect on criminality then reduction should reduce the crime rate. However, when drugs are used to reduce the level in criminals there is little effect on their rate of re-offending. In fact, in a study(1) of men castrated to calm them down, nine out of sixteen died as a result of aggressive encounters. Perhaps the loss of testosterone did not reduce their tendency to fight, but affected their ability to win."
Blimey, interesting stuff, especially this last bit about the guys who were castrated.
meanwhile on the subject of testosterone and women:
"Testosterone Linked To Violence In Female Inmates
Higher testosterone levels are related to criminal violence and aggressive dominance among women in prison, says a Georgia State University study released Sept. 23.
The study, published in the September-October issue of Psychosomatic Medicine, measured testosterone in 87 female inmates at a maximum security prison. Their criminal behavior was scored from court records, and their prison behavior was assessed from prison records and staff interviews.
Testosterone was found related both to the violence of the women's crimes and to the aggressive dominance of their behavior in prison. This finding was further supported by assessing how an inmate's age corresponded to her behavior and testosterone levels."
Simply, not all humans like to watch violence; I'm the only one in my family who doesn't mind watching it. I think the reason lots of people do is because humans have evolved from such an environment where we grew up, and needed violence in our daily lives, and were judged in life by your physical strength (even though that sort of dicrimination is still made.) So I think it's just our basic primitive instincts kicking in.
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