chapter  5
28 Pages

Media violence and aggression

This chapter examines the basis for the claim that exposure to violent media contents enhances viewers' aggressive tendencies. An extensive literature, both within psychology and in media science, is available to address the media±aggression link, focusing on television as the most widely used medium. The chapter looks at the study of immediate and short-term effects of violent media contents on aggressive behavior. It discusses the research on the long-term consequences of sustained and prolonged exposure to violent media contents. Gender and age were found to be relevant moderator variables: the link between exposure to media violence and aggression was stronger for male than for female viewers and for children and adolescents as compared to adults. The chapter describes the effects of a specific type of media content, that is, pornography, on aggression in general and sexual aggression in particular. Violent pornography led to stronger rape-supportive and antisocial attitudes than nonviolent sexual material.