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MTV and Violence
The current issue of the Oklahoma Observer
(6/25/97) has an article headlined "MTV Videos
Are Highest in Violence." It is based on an
article in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent
Medicine. The article reported a content analysis
of 518 music videos by researchers at Wake Forest
University in North Carolina.
About 20 percent of the videos for both rap and rock
portrayed violence. This was also true for portrayal
of weapon carrying.
These people who cluck their tongues in agony
over the symbolic portrayal of violence in the media
are missing the point. Granted, it is possible that
violence in the media plays some kind of role in
motivating violence in real life. This is debatable,
but I won't rule it out. If it is a factor, then I would
say it is most likely one factor among several.
In contrast, there is no doubt about the fact that
loud entertainment noise does real tangible violence
in the destruction of human hearing hair cells. This
is not symbolic, and no other factors are necessary
in order to cause the damage.
When are the health behavior researchers, Religious
Right moralizers, and gangsta rap opponents going
to wake up to this ?
-- Michael Wright
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