Archive for March, 2008


I read a freakishly large amount of material, but a study in the March/April issue of Mothering really caught my eye.

A recent study conducted by the University of Michigan has determined that the strongest predictor of violence in adulthood is children’s repeated exposure to violent entertainment and participation in the virtual violence found in most video games.

The study states that such exposure more strongly influences future aggressive behavior than does living in poverty, engaging in substance abuse, or having abusive parents.

Specific findings include the following:

  • Men in their early 20s who were heavy viewers of violent TV shows between the ages of six and nine were twice as likely as other men to push, grab, or shove thier spouses. They were also three times as likely to be convicted of criminal behavior.
  • Women who were high-volume viewers of violent shows as young children were more than twice as likely as other women to have thrown something at their spouses, and more than four times as likely as other women to have punched, beaten, or choked another adult.
  • Playing violent video games changes brain function, desensitizing chronic players to actual violence.

This study is hardly lonesome. Google the subject and a plethora of information is at your disposal.


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The ruling that was expected yesterday from Brazil’s Supreme Court regarding embryonic stem cell research is now expected in the next ten to thirty days.

Five hours into the Supreme Court session, Justice Carlos Alberto Menezes Direito formally requested more time to consider the issue.

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Brazil’s Supreme Court is set to rule today on whether scientists may conduct embryonic stem cell research.

A new Brazilian law allowing research on embryos resulting from in-vitro fertilization frozen for at least three years was cited as unconstitutional in a petition by General Claudio Fontelles. He argued that the law was unconstitutional because it violated the right to life.

“Brazil has the potential to be a significant leader in this field,” said Bernard Siegel, the executive director of the Florida-based Genetic Policy Institute. “And if the Supreme Court decides to allow this kind of research, then Brazil will become the Latin American leader in this field.”

In opposition to the law, Roman Catholic Church officials have urged the court to ban stem cell research, agreeing with Fontelles that it ends human life. The Church does clarify that their opposition only extends to embryonic stem cells, not adult stem cells.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva favors the current law, allowing for embryonic stem cell research.

We will see how the Brazilian Supreme Court rules…

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