Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The same Old Tired Hoopla

Whenever a heinous murder is committed, the media inevitably uses the opportunity to prosyletize about the dangers of...X.

After VA Tech, it was the not so subtle call for gun control. Same as it was after Columbine.

After the Jonesboro shootings, it was the one and only time I ever heard leftists call for Parental Responsibility.

Video Game violence. Wrestling. Movies. Marilyn Manson. The list goes on.

And during these periods of national discussion, BS tends to get flung around with great authority. With the recent double murder-suicide of wrestler Chris Benoit, a couple news outlets have seen fit to bring back this ridiculous study. A small excerpt:

The frequency of adolescents viewing wrestling on TV was positively associated with date fighting and other violent behaviors, according to a study, published by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in the August issue of Pediatrics.
"This study has tremendous implications," said Robert H. DuRant, Ph.D., lead author of the study and professor of pediatrics and social science and health policy at Brenner Children's Hospital, part of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "It shows that exposure to this type of violence on television during this crucial period of time when a teen's cognitive, social and physical development is still being cemented can affect adolescents in a negative way."
The frequency of watching wrestling was highest among students who engaged in date fighting when either the victim or the perpetrator had been drinking alcohol or using drugs. The relationship between watching wrestling and date fighting persisted after adjusting for multiple other factors, according to the study.
"One of the more interesting things we learned while completing this research was that the relationship between watching wrestling on television and being the perpetrator of dating violence was stronger among females," DuRant said. "Also, our study results remained consistent, when examined longitudinally, over a six-to seven-month period."
Adolescents who watch wrestling on TV are exposed to a high frequency of violence between men and women, alcohol use and hearing women referred to in derogatory terms such as "bitch," according to the study. In addition, the scenarios played out in the TV dramas often present violence as a solution to a problem.

Yet again proving that having the letters Ph.D. behind your name doesn't make you intelligent, the drivel continues:

In males, watching wrestling was associated with having started a fight with a date, other fighting, having been a date fight victim, gun carrying and other weapon carrying. Alcohol or drug use during the last fight by the date or by the student was associated with watching wrestling more frequently, according to the study.
In females, watching wrestling by females was associated with having started a date fight, having been a date fight victim, gun carrying, carrying a gun at school, other weapon carrying at school, fighting, fighting at school, and being injured in a fight. Also, alcohol or drug use by the female student or her date during the last date fight was associated with viewing wrestling more frequently.
"The bottom line is that adolescents are affected by what they are exposed to," DuRant said. "This study shows that the incidence of date fighting and other violence increases when the exposure to violence increases. Wrestling doesn't in itself cause violence, but when combined with overall socialization, violence on television can affect what is perceived as socially acceptable behavior."

Correlation does not equal causation. For example:

I have three red headed friends. All three have abusive fathers. Fathers hit red headed children.

Sounds stupid huh? Well let's pick apart this wrestling crap.

If you watch wrestling, you are more prone to beat your girlfriend/boyfriend. You are more likely to drink. You are more likely to solve problems with violence. And you are more likely to carry a gun.
The last one especially is curious as no one ever uses guns in Wrestling.

How moronic. "Have you ever hit your girlfriend?" Yes. "Do you watch wrestling?" I do. "THE WRESTLING CAUSES THE BEATING OF THE GIRLFRIEND! VOILA!"

Here's an original idea. Ask them if they watch the Sopranos. Or play video games. Or watch the frigging news. All of which show scenes of people using violence to solve disputes. And on the news...they often get away with it.

Or here's an idea, since most abusers come from an abusive family situation, ask the respondants if there is any violence in the home. When kids, and even teenagers see Dad hit Mom, or vice versa, it sends the message that violence is OK in a relationship.

Jane is driving to work listening to Kelly Clarkson. She gets into a car accident and dies. No matter how bad Clarkson is...that's not what killed her.

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