More threads by Mangopork


Does watching violent films or exposing oneself to violent media, by itself, cause PTSD, even in mild forms?

Or is it largely interpretive and subjective to the viewer?

What if the material depicts horrific s**ual abuse?

What are the known psychological effects of sexually violent material?

I've noticed that such media has grown in popularity recently so I am curious.

Does it create psychopathy? Can it warp the mind of the viewer?


Regarding PTSD, I would say no. PTSD is where you experience or witness real life life threatening or very dangerous situations where you're terrified and feel powerless. Strong as screen images are, and potentially upsetting, destabilising, anxiety provoking and frightening, they cannot, as far as I know, trigger PTSD.

Does it create psychopathy? I wouldn't say so. But it could trigger the emergence of what is already latent in the person. After all, why would someone want to watch something like that in the first place?

I have PTSD and can't even bear to watch anything remotely violent.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
1. Although the cause(s) of psychopathy are not fully understood, there is evidence to suggest that at least some of it is based in genetics.

2. I think it highly unlikely based on my knowledge of the research literature that exposure to media violence of any kind causes psychopathy. It is far more likely that psychopaths seek out extreme forms of violence in the media as well as in their personal lives.
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