Rowell Huesmann

Rowell HuesmannInternet surfers who linger on sites featuring violence and gore pay a price for looking at this kind of offensive subject matter, according to a May 31 article in the Toronto Sun. The Sun, writing about a recent “snuff” video associated with a high profile murder in Montreal, interviewed RCGD Director Rowell Huesmann about the impact of watching such films, which typically attract thousands of views. The more exposure people have to disturbing images, Huesmann said, the less they will respond with normal emotions of empathy. “There is no debate about the fact that being exposed to repeated images of blood and gore desensitizes us,” Huesmann told the Sun. Even fake scenes of violence can affect viewers, he said, and long and repeated exposure can dull observers to depictions of pain and suffering for years. “Desensitization is a fundamental property of the human nervous system,” Huesmann said.