According to a recent study published from Texas A&M International University, watching violent media as a child is not necessarily a predictor of violent behaviour in the future. The study outlines that genetics and social environment have a larger impact on personal development.
University chair and associate professor of psychology Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson lead the study which suggest genetics is a high contributing factor of criminal behaviour. Genetic variance factored into violent bahaviour for 58% of women and 20% of men according to data collected from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.
“We basically find that genetics and some social issues combine to predict later adult arrests,” Dr. Ferguson said. “Despite ongoing concerns about media influences, media exposure does not seem to function as a risk factor for adult criminality.”
“Genetics alone don’t seem to trigger criminal behavior, but in combination with harsh upbringing, you can see negative outcomes,” he wrote. “In our sample, experiencing maternal warmth seemed to reduce the impact of genetics on adult criminality.
“People may object morally to some of the content that exists in the media, but the question is whether the media can predict criminal behavior. The answer seems to be no,” he added.
Behaviour is determined by a combination of factors and not necessarily one factor, according to Ferguson. The environment a child is brought up in among family and peers and socioeconomic status also factor into the possibility of criminal behaviour in the future, according to the study.