Mohammad Al-Ubaydli’s blog

A bibliography of violence

Posted in Books, Society by Dr Mohammad Al-Ubaydli on January 21, 2007

In the past I have read about the increasing violence of society and the role that television plays. However, I did not know any of the academic literature on the topic. Page 208 of “The winner-take all society” has a grizzly bibliography.

  1. “In one of the pioneering studies from the 1950s, twelve four-year-olds were shown a Woody Woodpecker cartoon full of violent images (violent by 1950s standards, at any rate), while another twelve four-year-olds were shown ‘The Little Red Hen’, a peaceful cartoon. Afterward, the children who watched Woody Woodpecker were found to be more likely to hit other children, break toys, and engage in a variety of other disruptive behaviors during free play.” See: Bandura, Ross and Ross and Steuer, Applefield and Smith.
  2. “[V]erbal and physical aggression increased among elementary school children when television was introduced into the community, this in contrast to no change in playground behavior in two control communities that had already had television service for many years.” See J Joy, M Kimball and M Zabrack. “Television and Children’s Aggressive Behavior.” In TM Williams, ed. The Impact of Television: A Natural Experiment in Three Communities. Orlando, FL: Academic Press, 1986, pp. 303-60.
  3. [T]he behavior of first- and second-grade children in a town in a mountainous part of western Canada where there had been no television before the introduction of a cable system in 1973. By 1975 […] the incidence of ‘hitting, biting, and shoving’ had increased by 160 percent for students.” Quoted in “Honey I Warped the KidsMother Jones 1993.
  4. “In South Africa, where the Afrikaner regime banned television until 1975. One study found that in the eight years after television was introduced, South Africa’s urder rate shot up dramatically, with the steepest and earliest increases observed in the white community, where television saturation was highest. These findings mirror a similar racial pattern in the sharp increase in murder rates observed in the wake of television’s proliferation in the United States in the 1950s.” Quoted in “Honey I Warped the KidsMother Jones 1993.
  5. “One experiment, for example, divided a group of male college students into four groups: The first, a control group, was shown no movies; the second group was shown “teenage sexual-innuendo” movies; the third group saw nonviolent X-rated movies; and the fourth watched the slasher films Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th Part 2, Maniac, and Toolbox Murders. The subjects were then empaneled as members of a mock jury and asked a series of questions to measure their empathy for a female rape victim. Subjects who had seen the slasher films scored lowest in empathy not only for the specific victim in the experiment but also for rape victims generally.” Quoted in “Honey I Warped the KidsMother Jones 1993.

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