Some experts say the violence in today's movies, music and video games is more pervasive and destructive than ever. But the kids themselves don't always agree.CBS News Correspondent Hattie Kauffman reports for CBS News This Morning.
Twenty-year-old Kraig Marshall is a heavy-metal music fan and a performer in a band group called WitchMoon.
Even though his band's music is pretty positive, he says, people are always misinterpreting the message.
"Most people are, like, you're singing about suicide, and it's just not true," says Marshall.
Fellow band member Dan Kennedy thinks hard-hitting, aggressive music may actually prevent some kids from tragic outbursts.
"For some people, the music is a way out ... It gets people away from going to school and killing people."
The shooters in Littleton were supposedly fans of an underground rock group called KMFDM. On its Web site, the band expressed its sympathy to the victims and their families, but denied that its music could have sparked such a deadly spree.
Violent images are a part of today's youth culture, though, and young people at Paramus Park shopping center in New Jersey didn't deny that.
They play the video games. They watch the movies. And they listen to the songs.
"I listen to a bit of Marilyn Manson," says fan Sal Portelli. " I saw one of his shows a couple of years ago and it's pretty freaky, but it's a show, and that's what you take it as."
Today's rock groups may be a little edgier, a little more graphic than their predecessors, but industry observers say the fascination with these dark and scary images goes back many generations.
"The world is a frightening, unknowable place, and kids are grappling for a way to understand everything that's going on around them. Once they were grappling with that through fairy tales," says Joe Levy from Rolling Stone Magazine. Now they might be doing it through video games and music.
To get perspective on this subject from a child and family therapist expert point of view, read Is Pop Culture Your Child's Family?
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