Friday, November 15, 2013



The top-rated show on cable TV is rife with shootings, stabbings, machete attacks and more shootings. The top drama at the box office fills theaters with the noise of automatic weapons fire. The top-selling video game in the country gives players the choice to kill or merely wound their quarry.  (The New York Times / Mirko Illic ) 2-28-13

*  Special thanks to "Google Images", "The New York Times", The Annenberg Foundation,
"ABC News", "NBC News", "", and "Western Connecticut State University"

by Felicity Blaze Noodleman
Los Angeles, CA

Too Much violence in entertainment these days?  No guidance in ratings for younger audiences?  If you’ve asked yourself questions like this, you are not alone.  Violence seems to be running rampant in all forms of entertainment these days – movies, television, video games and in rap music and can be found in other genera's of music as well!

A new study out this week from the Annenberg Foundation by Dan Romer, director of the Adolescent Communication Institute of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) has found that gun violence has escalated in movies since the 1950’s.  In fact violence of all forms has become more predominate not only action adventure films but in many other subject titles as well;  and the blood, some producers just can’t get enough of it!

This is not the first time Hollywood has come under the gun (excuse the pun) for the content of their motion pictures.   The “Hays Code” was established in 1930  The Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA), which later became the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), adopted the code in 1930, began enforcing it in 1934, and abandoned it in 1968, in favor of the subsequent MPAA film rating system. The Production Code spelled out what was acceptable and what was unacceptable content for motion pictures produced for a public audience in the United States (from

Have you ever begun watching a movie and experienced shock and horror as the plot gradually turned violent and have been drawn into the story line because you were too engrossed and wanted to see how the movie ended?  Have you ever thought to yourself after wards, why did I watch this; it was horrible?  Have you ever thought to yourself why did I watch that film; I would never associate with people like those and would disapprove of a situation like that in real life?  Good questions!  Movies have way of getting us involved in their plot.

In the past Hollywood has come under criticism for the film content and studios are very savvy in justifying their work.  They offer many explanations to answer the charges brought their films.  From too much sexuality Thur too much violence, their public relations people and lawyers again draw us in and make it all sound perfectly normal in the end.  My favorite justification is films are only portraying real life and of course, if we are offended then we always have the option of not watching!  If the criticism gets to bad then their final retreat in the “First Amendment” to the Constitution.

With out further introduction lets move right to the study from Annenberg by Dan Romer and thank him for his analytical work on this subject.

November 11, 2013

CONTACT: Michael Rozansky, 215-746-0202,

More Gun Violence Seen In Top-Grossing PG-13 Movies
Than In Biggest R-Rated Films

Movie violence has more than doubled since 1950

Dan Romer Ph.D.
PHILADELPHIA – The amount of gun violence in the top-grossing PG-13 movies has more than tripled since 1985, and in 2012 it exceeded the gun violence in the top-grossing R-rated movies, according to researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center and the Ohio State University.

The overall rate of violence in the biggest box-office movies has more than doubled since 1950, the researchers report in a new study.

The study, “Gun Violence Trends in Movies,” published in the December issue of Pediatrics (online publication Nov. 11), shows that in 1985, the first full year of the PG-13 rating, the amount of gun violence in popular PG-13 movies was similar to that in movies rated G and PG. Since then, the gun violence in PG-13 movies has grown, and since 2009 it has rivaled the level of gun violence in R-rated movies.

“It’s disturbing that PG-13 movies are filled with so much gun violence,” said Dan Romer, director of the Adolescent Communication Institute of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) and a co-author of the study. “We know that movies teach children how adults behave, and they make gun use appear exciting and attractive.”

The dramatic growth of gun violence in movies aimed at younger viewers is especially troubling, the researchers said, because of the “weapons effect,” a finding that just the sight or depiction of a gun can make people behave more aggressively. “Because of the increasing popularity of PG-13 films, youth are exposed to considerable gun violence in movie scripts,” the researchers said in the study. “The mere presence of guns in these films may increase the aggressive behavior of youth.”

A G rating is “all ages admitted.” PG means “parental guidance suggested” for young children. PG-13 stands for “parents strongly cautioned” for children under 13. R stands for “restricted,” and children under age 17 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.

By definition, a PG-13 movie is supposed to have less violence than an R-rated movie. The Motion Picture Association of America says on its website that the violence in a PG-13 movie “does not reach the restricted R category.” This study shows that it does.

Patrick E. Jamieson, a study co-author and director of APPC’s Adolescent Risk Communication Institute, said that this study adds to previous ones showing that the overall level of violence in PG-13 movies is no different than that in R-rated movies. “The picture is grimmer than that because gun violence is even greater in PG-13 films than in R films. Children are not restricted from seeing PG-13 movies – parents are just warned about the content.”

The MPAA’s definition of a PG-13 movie says, “There may be depictions of violence in a PG-13 movie, but generally not both realistic and extreme or persistent violence.” By contrast, the MPAA says a movie rated R may include “intense or persistent violence.”

The study was based on the APPC’s Coding of Health and Media Project’s database of 945 movies drawn from the 30 top-grossing movies each year from 1950-2012, based on annual box-office sales as ranked by Variety magazine. Half of the top 30 movies each year were randomly chosen, and trained coders counted sequences of violence in those films.

The analysis found that 396 of the 420 movies studied since 1985, or 94 percent, had one or more five-minute segments containing violent sequences. Those sequences were coded for the use of guns. The study focused on the firing of handheld guns with the intent to harm or kill a living being, excluding acts such as hunting and the use of large-scale weaponry such as rocket-propelled grenades and artillery. The study excluded violence that was not intended to harm, such as typical sports aggression and accidents.

The number of movie scripts containing segments with gun violence has not generally changed since 1985 in G-, PG-, and R-rated movies, the study found – in fact, it decreased slightly in G and PG films. But it grew considerably in PG-13 movies, which make up more than half of the revenue from the top-grossing movies.

The drive to create a PG-13 rating came from parents’ reactions to the violence in PG-rated movies such as “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” released in May 1984. It may be time to rethink how violence is treated in movie ratings, said Romer, the study co-author. “We treat sex as R,” he said. “We should treat extreme gun violence as R.”

The study was a joint product of Brad J. Bushman of the Ohio State University, and Patrick E. Jamieson, Ilana Weitz, and Dan Romer of the Annenberg Public Policy Center. Funding was provided by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Annenberg Public Policy Center ( was established in 1994 to educate the public and policy makers about the media’s role in advancing public understanding of political and health issues at the local, state and federal levels.

We learned of this study from television news and began research for this article on the web. We would like to include several other articles covering this subject since we were planning an expose on the violence in entertainment for future publication.  The Annenburg study gave us the perfect opportunity for introducing this topic.  First we would like to include the NBC News article on the Annenberg  study and then a study from on violence desensitization.

"NBC News"

PG-13 Movies Are Now More Violent Than R-Rated '80s Flicks-Study
Melissa Dahl: TODAY
Nov. 11, 2013 at 12:01 AM ET

Bruce Willis' John McClane and his son Jack team up in "A Good Day to Die Hard."
20th Century Fox

Movies from the 1980s like “Terminator” or “Die Hard” were rated R at the time of their release – but if they were released today, they’d probably be rated PG-13, a new study suggests.
That's because PG-13 movies today — such as “The Hunger Games” or “The Avengers” — contain more violence than the R-rated films of the 1980s, according to a new report published today in the journal Pediatrics. In particular, gun violence in PG-13 films has tripled since 1985, the year the PG-13 rating was first introduced. And overall, violence in movies has nearly quadrupled since the 1950s.

Psychologists say it’s a worrisome trend that we should take seriously, because there is evidence that watching violence on screen increases aggression in real life.
“Of course it’s not the only factor, and it may not even be the most important factor, but it isn’t a trivial factor — and it’s one we can change," says Brad Bushman, an Ohio State University psychologist and lead author of the new report.

Bushman and colleagues analyzed 945 popular films released from 1950 to 2012. Each movie was among the 30 top-grossing films of that year, and they randomly chose 15 of those top 30 movies to scrutinize. Undergrads watched every film and counted every violent act — they defined a violent sequence as “physical acts where the aggressor makes or attempts to make some physical contact with the intention of causing injury or death.”

They found that since 2009, PG-13 movies have featured as much or more violence than the R-rated films released those same years. And in 2012, there was more gun violence in PG-13 films than in the R-rated ones out that year.

Take the “Die Hard” sequels. One of the films the undergrads analyzed was 1990’s “Die Hard 2,” which was rated R. But a later sequel in the series, 2007’s “Live Free or Die Hard,” actually had more gun violence and a comparable amount of overall violence—and yet it was rated PG-13.

Same idea with the “Terminator” movies: The third one in the series, “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,” was included in the study— it got an R rating in 2003. But they found that it had less gun violence than 2009’s “Terminator Salvation,” which received a PG-13 rating.
One more example that really jumped out at study co-author Dan Romer was the famously violent 1987 film “The Untouchables.”

“It had gun violence in it that was comparable to a lot of the movies we’re calling PG-13 in the last five years,” says Romer, director of the Adolescent Communication Institute at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center. 

“I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘The Untouchables’ today would get a PG-13.” He thinks the same would apply to the Eddie Murphy comedy “Beverly Hills Cop,” which was rated R in 1984, but feels more like today’s PG-13 movies in terms of violence.

“There are exceptions, but in the top-grossing films, over 90 percent of them have some violence,” Romer says. “Violence is very good for Hollywood. And PG-13 is good for Hollywood, because it doesn’t restrict anyone from going into the theater.”

There are a few things that might explain the remarkable rise in violence in PG-13 films. Ratings are determined by the Motion Picture Association of America — which means, Bushman says, they’re “assigned by the industry.” (The MPAA declined to comment on the study.

And a movie rated PG-13 will attract more theatergoers than an R, of course, because kids can go see it. Romer also thinks the rise in sci-fi and comic book movies has something to do with it —violence may be easier for us to handle if it’s got a fantasy element to it. And violence is understandable in every language, which means violence-fueled action movies are more marketable overseas than comedies.

The researchers also examined graphic sexual scenes in the movies they analyzed, and found that sex was much more likely to earn a film an R-rating than violence. “Take a film like ‘Ted.’ There’s hardly any violence in that. But because he has sex—not even very graphic sex, they just show him having sex — that gets an R,” Romer says. 

It's worth noting that there is also a lot of crude language in that movie, which can also garner a film an R rating. “(Sex) consistently gets an R rating if it’s at all explicit, but that’s not the case with violence," Romer says.

We don’t like the idea that violent movies —or TV shows or video games — influence our behavior. But many studies have suggested that they do. One often-cited 1967 study found that the mere sight of a gun made people act with more hostility, deciding to deliver a harsher electric shock to another study participant. More than 50 other studies since have found similar evidence of the “weapons effect” — the idea that just seeing a weapon can increase aggression.

“People tell me all the time, I watch violent media and I’ve never killed anyone. Well, big deal. Nobody kills anyone; murder is a very rare event,” says Bushman. “So you’ve never murdered anyone. What I want to know is —how do you treat other people?”

Watching violent images doesn’t always make us more likely to want to punch things; it can also make us less likely to help people in need, Bushman found in a 2009 study. This is true for all of us, but psychologists agree that children are particularly vulnerable.

Bushman would like to eventually see movie ratings in the U.S. decided by a panel that includes child psychologists, with ratings that clearly spell out which ages the movie is appropriate for. But until then, parents who are worried about their kids seeing violent images on screen can take a few pages from Bushman’s book. 

For one, he blocks all violent and sexual content online. He also encourages parents to do their homework – if the kids want to see a movie or buy a video game, Google it first. Scenes from many popular video games are available on YouTube, for example. And parents should also always explain their decision to their kids.

Recently, after reviewing his own son’s birthday wish list, he told him, “You listed five games, and these three are OK. These other two are not good, and let me show you why. We try to give you healthy choices, and not just for food, but for your media diet as well.”

"NBC News"


Psychologists Produce First Study On Violence Desensitization From Video Games

July 27, 2006 — Research led by a pair of Iowa State University psychologists has proven for the first time that exposure to violent video games can desensitize individuals to real-life violence.

Nicholas Carnagey, an Iowa State psychology instructor and research assistant, and ISU Distinguished Professor of Psychology Craig Anderson collaborated on the study with Brad Bushman, a former Iowa State psychology professor now at the University of Michigan, and Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.

They authored a paper titled "The Effects of Video Game Violence on Physiological Desensitization to Real-Life Violence," which was published in the current issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. In this paper, the authors define desensitization to violence as "a reduction in emotion-related physiological reactivity to real violence."

Their paper reports that past research -- including their own studies -- documents that exposure to violent video games increases aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, physiological arousal and aggressive behaviors, and decreases helpful behaviors. Previous studies also found that more than 85 percent of video games contain some violence, and approximately half of video games include serious violent actions.

The methodology
Their latest study tested 257 college students (124 men and 133 women) individually. After taking baseline physiological measurements on heart rate and galvanic skin response -- and asking questions to control for their preference for violent video games and general aggression -- participants played one of eight randomly assigned violent or non-violent video games for 20 minutes. The four violent video games were Carmageddon, Duke Nukem, Mortal Kombat or Future Cop; the non-violent games were Glider Pro, 3D Pinball, 3D Munch Man and Tetra Madness.

After playing a video game, a second set of five-minute heart rate and skin response measurements were taken. Participants were then asked to watch a 10-minute videotape of actual violent episodes taken from TV programs and commercially-released films in the following four contexts: courtroom outbursts, police confrontations, shootings and prison fights. Heart rate and skin response were monitored throughout the viewing.

The physical differences
When viewing real violence, participants who had played a violent video game experienced skin response measurements significantly lower than those who had played a non-violent video game. The participants in the violent video game group also had lower heart rates while viewing the real-life violence compared to the nonviolent video game group.
"The results demonstrate that playing violent video games, even for just 20 minutes, can cause people to become less physiologically aroused by real violence," said Carnagey. "Participants randomly assigned to play a violent video game had relatively lower heart rates and galvanic skin responses while watching footage of people being beaten, stabbed and shot than did those randomly assigned to play nonviolent video games.

"It appears that individuals who play violent video games habituate or 'get used to' all the violence and eventually become physiologically numb to it."

Participants in the violent versus non-violent games conditions did not differ in heart rate or skin response at the beginning of the study, or immediately after playing their assigned game. However, their physiological reactions to the scenes of real violence did differ significantly, a result of having just played a violent or a non-violent game. The researchers also controlled for trait aggression and preference for violent video games.

The researchers' conclusion
They conclude that the existing video game rating system, the content of much entertainment media, and the marketing of those media combine to produce "a powerful desensitization intervention on a global level."

"It (marketing of video game media) initially is packaged in ways that are not too threatening, with cute cartoon-like characters, a total absence of blood and gore, and other features that make the overall experience a pleasant one," said Anderson. "That arouses positive emotional reactions that are incongruent with normal negative reactions to violence. Older children consume increasingly threatening and realistic violence, but the increases are gradual and always in a way that is fun.

"In short, the modern entertainment media landscape could accurately be described as an effective systematic violence desensitization tool," he said. "Whether modern societies want this to continue is largely a public policy question, not an exclusively scientific one."

The researchers hope to conduct future research investigating how differences between types of entertainment -- violent video games, violent TV programs and films -- influence desensitization to real violence. They also hope to investigate who is most likely to become desensitized as a result of exposure to violent video games.

"Several features of violent video games suggest that they may have even more pronounced effects on users than violent TV programs and films," said Carnagey.

Story Source:
The above story is based on materials provided by Iowa State University.

Top of Form

ISU Distinguished Professor of Psychology Craig Anderson.
(Image courtesy of Iowa State University)


All of the films studied are now considered to be old by today's youths with newer films continuing the tradition of even more gun play, bigger explosions and more blood.  Using "Die Hard" as an example for these types of films, we found ourselves wondering midway into the plot, how could any human ever withstand this much physical punishment?  The story is so far beyond "suspension of disbelief" this viewer was almost to the point of laughter at the absurdity
of the story!

With all the violence in the news these days: the recent shooting at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport), Sandy Hook Elementary School and the tragedy at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado just to mention a few we have to begin looking for the deeper underling "triggers" or the poor examples set in today's society which contributed to these mass slayings with automatic weapons by these youths across the nation. Other forms of shooting violence are also occurring such as "drive by" and now even "walk by" shootings and one on one gun violence.

Referring to our earlier explanations for Hollywood's rationalization of the violence portrayed in their films; "Motion Pictures only depict real life", we see that the two seem to have a symbiotic relationship.  Both seem to be feeding on the other and growing out of control.  One prime reason for Motion Picture violence is the rating system used by Hollywood and governed by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).  Over the years this ratings system has become so diluted and weak allowing movie producers to include more and more violence, bad language and sexuality in "R" rated films.  Before the changes in the ratings system in 1968 films depicting such content would have received an "X" rating - explicitly adult content and not for younger viewers.

The MPAA's ratings system today is as follows:

What Each Rating Means

g-ratingG — General Audiences. All Ages Admitted.A G-rated motion picture contains nothing in theme, language, nudity, sex, violence or other matters that, in the view of the Rating Board, would offend parents whose younger children view the motion picture. The G rating is not a "certificate of approval," nor does it signify a "children’s" motion picture. Some snippets of language may go beyond polite conversation but they are common everyday expressions. No stronger words are present in G-rated motion pictures. Depictions of violence are minimal. No nudity, sex scenes or drug use are present in the motion picture.

g-ratingPG — Parental Guidance Suggested. Some Material May Not Be Suitable For Children.A PG-rated motion picture should be investigated by parents before they let their younger children attend. The PG rating indicates, in the view of the Rating Board, that parents may consider some material unsuitable for their children, and parents should make that decision. The more mature themes in some PG-rated motion pictures may call for parental guidance. There may be some profanity and some depictions of violence or brief nudity. But these elements are not deemed so intense as to require that parents be strongly cautioned beyond the suggestion of parental guidance. There is no drug use content in a PG-rated motion picture.

pg-13-ratingPG-13 — Parents Strongly Cautioned. Some Material May Be Inappropriate For Children Under 13. A PG-13 rating is a sterner warning by the Rating Board to parents to determine whether their children under age 13 should view the motion picture, as some material might not be suited for them. A PG-13 motion picture may go beyond the PG rating in theme, violence, nudity, sensuality, language, adult activities or other elements, but does not reach the restricted R category. The theme of the motion picture by itself will not result in a rating greater than PG-13, although depictions of activities related to a mature theme may result in a restricted rating for the motion picture. Any drug use will initially require at least a PG-13 rating. More than brief nudity will require at least a PG-13 rating, but such nudity in a PG-13 rated motion picture generally will not be sexually oriented. There may be depictions of violence in a PG-13 movie, but generally not both realistic and extreme or persistent violence. A motion picture’s single use of one of the harsher sexually-derived words, though only as an expletive, initially requires at least a PG-13 rating. More than one such expletive requires an R rating, as must even one of those words used in a sexual context. The Rating Board nevertheless may rate such a motion picture PG-13 if, based on a special vote by a two-thirds majority, the Raters feel that most American parents would believe that a PG-13 rating is appropriate because of the context or manner in which the words are used or because the use of those words in the motion picture is inconspicuous.

g-ratingR — Restricted. Children Under 17 Require Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian.An R-rated motion picture, in the view of the Rating Board, contains some adult material. An R-rated motion picture may include adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually-oriented nudity, drug abuse or other elements, so that parents are counseled to take this rating very seriously. Children under 17 are not allowed to attend R-rated motion pictures unaccompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Parents are strongly urged to find out more about R-rated motion pictures in determining their suitability for their children. Generally, it is not appropriate for parents to bring their young children with them to R-rated motion pictures.

nc-17-ratingNC-17 — No One 17 and Under Admitted.An NC-17 rated motion picture is one that, in the view of the Rating Board, most parents would consider patently too adult for their children 17 and under. No children will be admitted. NC-17 does not mean "obscene" or "pornographic" in the common or legal meaning of those words, and should not be construed as a negative judgment in any sense. The rating simply signals that the content is appropriate only for an adult audience. An NC-17 rating can be based on violence, sex, aberrational behavior, drug abuse or any other element that most parents would consider too strong and therefore off-limits for viewing by their children 

Parents today need to be more vigilant supervising their children's entertainment viewing in every form; reading, the movies, television, video gaming, computer usage and even to their music and radio listening.  That's alot of child oversight, RIGHT!  Take Warner Bros. "Batman" franchise for example; this studio has expanded the original comic book character into a series of Motion Pictures which have all been released of DVD, a cartoon series also out on DVD and children's action toys.  Also; many computer web sited have been devoted to the "BAT" and also have access for the film and cartoon down loads.  This is alot for a parent to take on!   

Batman - A Timeless Hero?
Batman is the fictional comic book superhero created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane. The fictional superhero was introduced by DC Comics in the year 1939 and has become one of the most renowned superheroes of all times. Unlike a number of superheroes like Spiderman, X-Men or Superman, Batman doesn't possess anysuperhuman or supernatural powers.

Do you see what I mean when I speak about being drawn in by a film.  In this case the studio has drawn us in over the course of several movies.  I have to confess that since "Batman" be came a movie star at Warner Bros., he has become a darker and more sinister character - and his nemesis, well, go figure!

Finally;  we come to the subject of music in today's culture.  Some forms of music make the movies look tame by comparison!  It also should be noted that many songs are also produced as videos and therefore should be considered by this article.  The following study is even more alarming that the other studies sited by this article. Consider this study produced by the Western Connecticut State University department of Psychology.

"Western Connecticut State University"

Journal of Undergraduate Psychological Research
2006, Vol. 1

Does Rap or Rock Music Provoke 

Violent Behavior?

Eliana Tropeano
Western Connecticut State University

This study examined whether or not watching a violent music video would provoke individuals to answer questions with violent responses. Eleven participants watched a violent music video, 11 participants watched a nonviolent music video, and 11 participants were in the control group and did not watch any videos. It was found that watching the violent music video containing violent lyrics, aggressive behavior, and degrading behaviors toward women did make an individual feel and react more violently with regards to responses to questions about fictitious scenarios. The conclusion was that watching violent music videos does negatively affect behavior

Many researchers have examined the effects of how music provokes 
violent behavior. This is an important issue because of how much time people spend listening to music.These studies can help uncover whether or not violent and aggressive music lyrics do in fact provoke individuals to lash out in a violent way. 

Anderson et al. (2003) studied whether or not media violence influences youth. They randomly assigned youths to watch either a short violent or a short nonviolent music video and then observed how they interacted with other people after viewing the music video. After each participant watched the music video for approximately 15 minutes, both physical and verbal aggression towards others was assessed using a 10-point scale: with 1 showing nonviolent behaviors and 10 showing a lot of violent behaviors. A correlational analysis was used to see if there was a relationship between a participant watching the violent music video and acting violent, or watching the nonviolent music video and not acting violent. The results showed that exposure to media violence had a statistically significant association with aggression and violence among youth. This research clearly demonstrates that exposure to media violence heightens the chances that a youth will behave aggressively and have aggressive thoughts in the short run. 

Arlin (1996) examined the “influence of exposure to violent rock videos on participants’ appraisals of their own aggressiveness”. Participants were preselected based on their scores on a measure of locus of control. After completing a measure of Buss and Durkee’s Hostility Inventory, they were randomly assigned to view either a violent music video or a nonviolent music video. After viewing the music video, participants once again completed the Hostility Inventory. The results revealed a main effect of locus of control, such that individuals with an external locus of control showed lower self-reported aggressiveness after viewing a music video than individuals with an internal locus of control. 

Johnson, Jackson and Gatto (1995) studied whether exposure to rap music could cause violent attitudes and delayed academic performance. Forty-six African-American males (ages 11 to 16 years) from an inner city boys club in Wilmington, North Carolina were recruited to participate in this study. Participants were randomly exposed to violent rap music videos, nonviolent rap music videos, or no music videos. They read two vignettes involving: (a) a violent act perpetrated against a man and a woman and (b) a young man who chose to engage in academic pursuits to achieve success, whereas his friend, who was unemployed, “mysteriously” obtained extravagant items (i.e., a nice car, nice clothes). The results showed that participants who saw the violent rap videos reported greater acceptance of the use of violence. In addition, participants who saw the violent rap videos reported higher probability of committing similar acts of violence and greater acceptance of the use of violence against women. 

St. Lawrence and Joyner (1991) examined the effects of sexually violent rock music on males’ acceptance or violence against women. The experimental manipulation involved exposure to sexually violent heavy-metal rock music, Christian heavy-metal rock music, or easy listening classical music. One month prior to the experimental manipulation, participants were administered several attitudinal scales about religious orientation, sex roles, rape myths, and interpersonal violence. The results indicated that  males without a religious background were more accepting of sexist and rape-supportive beliefs. The researchers also came across an unexpected finding which was greater self-reported sexual arousal in response to classical music. 

Kalof (1999) examined the effects of gender and music video imagery on sexual attitudes. A group of 44 U.S. college students were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups that viewed either a video portraying stereotyped sexual imagery or a video that excluded all sexual images. A two-way ANOVA revealed that exposure to traditional sexual imagery had a significant main effect on attitudes about adversarial sexual relationships. There seems to be some confirmation of a relation between sex and exposure to conventional sexual imagery on the acceptance of interpersonal violence. 

Barongan and Nagayama Hall (1995) examined the effects of cognitive distortions men had towards women. The men in this study viewed women in a sexually aggressive way. The men’s behavior was observed in a laboratory setting. Twenty-seven men listened to misogynous rap music and 27 men listened to neutral rap music. Participants then viewed neutral, sexually-violent, and assaultive film vignettes and chose the vignette that they found appealing. The results showed that “participants who viewed the sexual-violent stimuli indeed felt sexually violent towards women, even having thoughts of raping and abusing women” (Barongan & Nagayama Hall, 1995, p. 200). 

Viemer√∂ and Paajanen (1992) examined whether or not viewing violent television actually does increase the aggressive behavior of those who view it. There were 391 eight-year old and tenyear old children participating in this study. These children were tested on their aggression, their fear fantasies, and their dream and fantasies about these shows. Two measurements of aggression were made: peer-nominated aggression and self-related aggression. TV viewing habits were measured by the amount of TV viewed during the week. Violence was depicted by how regularly violent TV shows were watched. They found that there was significant positive correlation for the boys between TV viewing variables and aggression. There was also a significant positive correlation between the amount of TV and televised violence viewing and fear and aggressive fantasies about actual shows that were seen by the children. These children seem to have been strongly impacted by the violence seen on the television shows they were watching, and then acting in a more aggressive way after watching the violence. 

Mahiri and Conner (2003) have examined whether or not it is true that our black youth is more violent than other nationalities and why. Is it the rap music that they may listen to? The researchers assessed the perspective on violence of 41 middleschool students attending a unique school in a low-income section of a large northern California city. The researchers probed ways that these students interpreted or reflected upon rap music and hip-hop culture, particularly its representation of violence, crime, and sex. A brief questionnaire was handed out to each of these participants, which consisted of scenario questions (what would you do if…). Based on the responses to the questions researchers were able to come to the conclusion that these particular students were unfortunately looking up to these negative role models. The constant talk of female assault, sex, and violence was being imbedded into these children’s minds. 

It seems very obvious that there is a significant relationship between listening to violent music and watching aggressive and violent music videos and one getting into more fights, using inappropriate language, inappropriate gestures, and a tendency to think less of women. All of the researchers identified in this paper studied this exact relationship and found significant results. It is apparent that there is a direct correlation between violent music videos and people behaving violently. An operational definition of violent behavior is physically and verbally hurting others, cursing, stealing, inappropriate gestures and negative views of women. Whether it is the lyrics, the beat, or watching the entertainers act violently, people in general who are viewing these music videos are behaving in an inappropriate way. The hypothesis in this experiment was that there would be a positive relationship between the music one listens to (violent and aggressive music) and how aggressive one behaves. 



The participants in this study were 33 undergraduate students from a northeastern public university. These subjects were at least 18 years old. For participating in this study, the participants were compensated with partial course credit. 


The materials that were used for this study included an informed consent, a 12-item questionnaire containing scenario questions and music questions directly related to the music videos shown (See Appendix for questionnaire), two different music videos (DMX and Will Smith) and a form to fill out so the participants could receive credit for participating in this study. 


The time, place and location of this study were posted in a common area. Students met in the experimental room and were given an informed consent to fill out. The dependent variable was violent behavior. Eleven subjects viewed rap artist DMX and answered the 12-item questionnaire. Another 11 participants viewed rap artist WILL SMITH and answered the 12-item questionnaire. The control group did not watch any music videos, but were asked to fill out the first page of the questionnaire containing the scenario questions. The entire participation time was less than fifteen minutes. After completing the questionnaire, the participants
returned the questionnaire. 


The four questions of interest were questions 1-4 on the questionnaire. The questions were scored on a scale of 1-4 (1 = low aggression and 4 = high aggression). Scores between 12-16 means the subject is highly aggressive, while scores below 6 MUSIC AND VIOLENCE 33 shows low aggression. The scores were analyzed with a one-way between subjects ANOVA. The one-way between subjects ANOVA results were F(2, 30) = 5.168, p = .012, and these results were significant. A post hoc Tukey test was done, which showed a significant difference between the violent and the nonviolent group. The violent group’s scores were much higher than the nonviolent group’s scores. Also, the control group’s scores were higher than the nonviolent group’s scores. This shows that the participants who viewed the violent music video were negatively affected when it came to answering the scenario questions, as opposed to the group who watched the nonviolent music video, showing little to no signs of aggression. 


The significant results of this experiment were as expected. Listening to violent music has an effect on aggression. This information is useful for parents of young children who are growing up watching these music videos. This specific study’s results and that of previous researchers reveal a serious problem. Our society as a whole should consider this a severe problem, especially with all of the school bombings, the high rates of angry, gang affiliated, weapon carrying young people, and the millions of dollars being spent on this violent and degrading (mostly to women) kind of music When the angry, violent, aggressive, vulgar videos were shown, participants portrayed a massive amount of hostility; their moods were changing as the video continued as did their behavior. They also answered the scenario questions with the most violent answers. The participants who watched the nonviolent video showed amazingly different answers to the questions, the majority of them answering the questions with the nonviolent answers. This study shows clear evidence that watching violent music videos (like DMX) has a strong effect on violent tendencies. 

It can also be said that the reason the results were significant in the violent group is because of the extreme difference between the two videos. The violent video was extremely violent showing fighting, car jacking, yelling, cursing, and hitting women. Meanwhile, the nonviolent group watched a music video that showed people dancing on the beach and having fun. The extreme differences between the two videos could be the reason for the significant results obtained. It may be wise in future research to use videos that are not so tremendously different.

"Western Connecticut State University"

The first time I ran across any ratings associated with music was with Gwen Stefani's album "Love. Angel. Music. Baby." which received the rating because of language.  At the time ratings for the music industry was relatively new and was initiated because of the high incidents of adult content and profanity used in Rap Music.  I was a little surprised that Stefani would resort to this low form of entertainment.  She is a very talented entertainer in her own right and needs no gimmick such as an "Adult Advisory" ratings for sales.  Some felt at the time that the advisory would bump up the sales of an album and draw in listeners from the Rap Music.

We don't see any change coming in entertainment soon.  The public is free to choose as they please and there are plenty of choices available.  Until there is a large outcry from society as a whole for entertainment to clean up their act such as that of the 1930's nothing will chance or until profits fall off from this low form of entertainment.  No doubt the producers of this trash will be standing on their Civil Rights and the First Amendment to The Constitution!  This has been Felicity writing for the Noodleman Group.

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