I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone talk about a movie and say “there are no sex scenes, only violence”. Viewing killing has just become a way of life I guess, and what comes natural to all species is sinful to lay eyes on. Studies show most people have to be trained to kill. The military uses simulations and repetitive virtual killing of humans to condition soldiers to “hit” enemy combatants. In WWI and WWII trigger pulls per soldier were quite low, along with soldiers not aiming at the enemy. Essentially having to be trained to kill. “S.L.A Marshall did a study on the firing rates of soldiers in World War II. He found that the ratio of rounds fired vs. hits was low; he also noted that the majority of soldiers were not aiming to hit their targets. This was a problem for the US military and its allies during World War II. Soldiers were reluctant to kill another human even while under attack. New training implements were developed and hit rates improved. The changes were small, but effective. First, instead of shooting at bulls-eye type targets, the U.S. Army switched to silhouette targets that mimic an average human and killing increased dramatically. After implementing virtual reality simulation, and research shows that the more virtual people you kill, the easier it is to devalue other human life. A high percentage of soldiers today have killed thousands of people before ever enlisting in the military. Kids today are a shoe-in for high trigger pull ratios as they are desensitized to the reality of how horrific killing naturally is. They’ve already done it. Is war like a video game? Prince Harry of Wales thinks so. The Telegraph reported that Prince Harry compared piloting an Apache to playing a video game. He said,
“It’s a joy for me because I’m one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think I’m probably quite useful,” prince Harry stated. As a downtown medic I was on the front lines of urban death far too long. I remember my first, and I remember the last and every single one in between. The violence leaves a wake of panic and hysteria to the family left behind tying to make sense of it. It is ugly and senseless.
So, sex is labeled throughout the pious world as the great sin, while violence gets a pass. Hell, it even makes you a star!
7 thoughts on “Sex – vs – Violence”
Spot on, Jim.
I’d even one-up you by pointing out that although the military has gotten pretty good and efficient at training (in the name of self-preservation and protecting your buddies, as well as accomplishing the mission of course), the long term impact is still beyond their control.
I’ve seen it time and again. No matter how well they train us.
And don’t get me wrong, there are benefits to being able to compartmentalize your basic human instincts. If it’s you or the other guy, s/he who hesitates loses.
But it screws up your mind. Makes it difficult to function in ‘normal’ society.
These days it’s called by name: PTSD. Aka “I’ve seen shit no human should have to see, done shit no human should have to do, been to places in my head no human should have to know about”
The fact we’ve been trained to function under prolonged “Fight/Flight” conditions by overriding our natural tendencies is often conveniently left out of the discussion (fortunately the good therapists know and work from there).
It’s possible to manage that balancing act. But you can’t switch those instincts off. And if you’re not careful, or just unlucky, they come back with a vengeance.
One look at the suicide rate among war veterans is all the proof one should need that excessive violence is not normal and healthy for our species. Or just make friends with a vet, and wait for that day when s/he gets that look. That 1000 yard stare. You’ll know.
I’d crack a joke about how traumatizing it would be to see 100 naked bodies looking like Jack Nicholson after a bender. Or about bad sex.
But coming from me the gallows humor would be too obvious I fear 😛
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I’ve been written up for having a smirk on my face during traumatic events. My defense mechanism is humor and irony and it’ll show in my face if I’m not careful. That was my way of compartmentalizing and coping, but I looked like an asshole even when I truly cared about the patients involved. I have not suffered much long term but I get a little anxiety reliving some of the bad ones. Lucky.
Paleoanthropology would have a TON to say about this historical and current behavior! 😉
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You play videogames!? At least we have one thing in common.😀
I don’t really play anything of the sort. Not much of a tv nut either. Lol. We have one thing in common is we both know what video games are 🙂
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This is a good one. Nice to know I am not alone in thinking that there is something wrong with watching violence for entertainment. But I guess the reason why sex suffers more than violence in entertainment is because it’s still easier to have sex than kill a person. So people are more likely to respond to suggestions from sex scenes than violent ones.
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