Watching Professional Wrestling Ruins High-School Dates

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From Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, more fodder for the debate over the relationship between violence in media and violence in the real world: a report titled “The Relationship Between Watching Professional Wrestling on Television and Engaging in Date Fighting Among High School Students.”

There were significant correlations between frequency of watching wrestling on television during the previous 2 weeks and engaging in date fighting, fighting in general, and weapon carrying for both males and females, although the relationships were stronger among females than among males. The frequency of watching wrestling was highest among students reporting date fighting when either the victim or perpetrator had been drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs. When analyzed using logistic regression, the strongest relationships were observed between the frequency of watching wrestling and date-fight perpetration among females in cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses. These findings persisted after adjusting for multiple other factors.

This strongly suggests that the violence depicted need not be real–or even convincing–for it to encourage violent behavior.

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In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

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