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Aggressive and Sadist Themes In Cartoons, Here’s Why We Love Them!

Who Watches Cartoons?

EVERYBODY! Well, all the privileged ones do at least.


How Do They Affect Us?

Here’s what I found upon research:

With the publication in Pediatrics of the second of two articles by a research group at the University of Washington, we gain a startling picture of how violent cartoons and more pro-social cartoons affect very young children. They agree to adhere to a media diet for six months, with a follow-up after a year.

So basically, children learn a lot from the media. They imitate what they see and hear. They identify with the characters, even cartoon ones. They learn from characters. But, the complication here is that if we learn words, emotions and solutions from cartoons, are we also learning the subtle need to be more aggressive and violent too?

Two Kinds of Violence:

The Mojo JoJo Kind and the Powerpuff girls kind. The Spiderman kind and the Electro kind. The Batman kind and the half of Gotham city kind. Meaning the one where the ends justify the means and the one where there is either greed, vengeance or personal vested interest kind.

What is So Addictive about the Violence?

You know which one is okay to see, but somehow, we are learning that outside of the legal system it is okay to hit, kill, and guard people, from a very young age, from a very impressionable age and the themes they absorb into the subconscious minds and root deeply. We like to know that the good drives out the evil, the underdog wins over the age-old villain and the anti-villain has to be super relatable all the time.

We laugh at the funny times that Tom hits Jerry, and when Jerry the little guy fights back. We laugh when the Bulldog takes a whim at Tom, and when Jerry plans the whole escapade in front of Tom. Or when Tom’s keeper shouts at him. It’s funny as kids, but it is these shows that normalize violence and that tell us that well, hitting is funny, brothers can hit sisters, men can hit women, girlfriends can hit boyfriends, and it is okay that people can make intolerable jokes seek revenge in the smallest of talks and fights and that we are basically super reactive to each other.

Perhaps, you can connect your dots there. What cartoons did you like to watch growing up?

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