Source: World Screen
STAMFORD, August 7: World Wrestling Entertainment has said that it is contemplating legal action over a study that claims a direct link between watching professional wrestling on TV and teen violence.
The study was conducted by researchers at Wake Forest University in 1999 and is being published this week in the medical journal Pediatrics. It alleges that boys and girls who watch wrestling were more prone to violence, particularly â€œdate fighting.â€ â€œThis study has tremendous implications,â€ said Robert H. DuRant, Ph.D., lead author of the study and professor of pediatrics and social science and health policy at Brenner Childrenâ€™s Hospital, part of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. â€œIt shows that exposure to this type of violence on television during this crucial period of time when a teenâ€™s cognitive, social and physical development is still being cemented can affect adolescents in a negative way.â€
He continued, â€œThe level of vulgar language, verbal abuse and physical abuse modeled, with unrealistic outcomes, is astonishing. The bottom line is that adolescents are affected by what they are exposed to. This study shows that the incidence of date fighting and other violence increases when the exposure to violence increases. Wrestling doesnâ€™t in itself cause violence, but when combined with overall socialization, violence on television can affect what is perceived as socially acceptable behavior.â€
WWE refutes the studyâ€™s claims, issuing a statement today noting: “We find the study flawed and ridiculous and we are contemplating legal action.”
In a statement issued Friday, the company said, “The researchers could not find a direct causal relationship between watching wrestling and health risk behaviors. The study ignored other factors that might lead to the types of behaviors discussed in the study. Its findings, therefore, are less than conclusive. In contrast to the findings of this flawed study, many of our fans attest that watching World Wrestling Entertainment programming has been a positive experience for them and their children. Many teens viewing our programs credit them with furthering their self-esteem and confidence.”