Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

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EastEnders Queen Vic Anita Dobson Abstract

Alcohol Use in Films and Adolescent Alcohol Use by Andrea Waylen, Sam Leary, Andrew Ness and James Sargent

OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether exposure to alcohol use in films is associated with early alcohol use, binge drinking, and alcohol-related problems in British adolescents.

METHODS: Cross-sectional study with 5163 15-year-olds from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children in the United Kingdom. We measured adolescent exposure to alcohol use in films, age at onset of alcohol use, and binge-drinking behavior. We adjusted for early childhood social, family and behavioral factors, adolescent tobacco use, and peer drinking.

RESULTS: After adjustment, adolescents with the highest exposure to alcohol use in films were 1.2 times more likely to have tried alcohol compared with those least exposed and 1.7 times more likely to binge drink. They were 2.4 times more likely to drink weekly and 2.0 times more likely to have alcohol-related problems than those least exposed.

CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to alcohol use in films is associated with higher risk of alcohol use and alcohol-related problems in UK adolescents. Our findings provide evidence to support the argument that a review of film-rating categories and alcohol ratings for all films may help reduce problem-related alcohol consumption in young people.

The authors of a new study argue that a movie that depicts any type of drinking should automatically earn an MPAA R rating or BBFC equivalent.

The study , published by the journal Pediatrics , claims that teens who see drinking on the big screen are more likely to drink themselves.

Among a group of 5,163 15-year-olds from England, those who watched the most minutes of drinking on film were twice as likely to have alcohol-related problems as those who watched the fewest. They were also 2.4 times more likely to drink at least once a week and 70% more likely consume five or more drinks in a single day.

The study authors tried to gauge the teens’ exposure to drinking in movies. Researchers had watched 366 popular movies and counted up the amount of time that drinking was depicted in each of them. The teens were presented with a random sample of 50 of these movies and asked whether they had seen them. All of the minutes of drinking in all of the movies seen by each kid were added together, and the average was 47.3 minutes.

The 25% of teens with the lowest exposure — less than 28 minutes in total — served as the baseline. Those in the group with the highest exposure had seen at least 64 minutes of drinking.

After controlling for a variety of demographic and other factors, the researchers found that the more minutes of drinking the teens had watched, the greater the odds of all kinds of alcohol use. Compared with teens in the lowest-exposure group, those with the highest exposure were 20% more likely to have had a drink at least once; 70% more likely to have a history of binge-drinking; twice as likely to have an alcohol-related problem; and 2.4 times more likely to be drinking at least once a week.

To the extent that movies contribute to teen drinking, one suggested remedy would be to eliminate all drinking in movies made for minors, the study authors wrote. That means any film with even a glass of wine or a can of beer would invoke an R rating from the MPAA (or the equivalent from the British Board of Film Classification ).

It may sound sound ludicrous, but the researchers claim that this is justified because movie rating systems exist to protect children from seeing media that may adversely affect their behavior .

If the MPAA and BBFC were to follow the researchers’ advice, a lot of movies would get stricter ratings. A 2011 study in the International Journal of Epidemiology found that 72% of the top-grossing movies in the United Kingdom between 1989 and 2008 included scenes of drinking, but only 6% of them were rated for adults.

Of course the researchers didn’t bother to contemplate the effects of such a loss of credibility so essential to parents use of film ratings.

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Call Duty Advanced Warfare Xbox Does Media Violence Predict Societal Violence? It Depends on What You Look at and When

By Christopher J. Ferguson*


This article presents 2 studies of the association of media violence rates with societal violence rates. In the first study, movie violence and homicide rates are examined across the 20th century and into the 21st (1920 – 2005). Throughout the mid-20th century small-to-moderate correlational relationships can be observed between movie violence and homicide rates in the United States. This trend reversed in the early and latter 20th century, with movie violence rates inversely related to homicide rates. In the second study, videogame violence consumption is examined against youth violence rates in the previous 2 decades. Videogame consumption is associated with a decline in youth violence rates. Results suggest that societal consumption of media violence is not predictive of increased societal violence rates.

Research, led by psychologist Christopher Ferguson and published in the Journal of Communication , has found that there was no link between violent media and behaviour and has also questioned the methodology of previous studies suggesting the two were related.

Ferguson and his team point out that many laboratory-based studies into the effect of media violence have measured aggression in test subjects through less aggressive outcomes ranging from filling in the missing letters of words through delivering nonpainful noise bursts to a consenting opponent.

The study points out that these studies also commonly provide exposure to brief clips of media, rather than full narrative experiences and that the resultant aggressive behaviors are also outside a real-world context in which the aggression appears to be sanctioned by the researchers themselves.

In the first of two historical studies the researchers examined the correlation of violent films and societal violence, analysing the frequency of violent acts in the top-grossing titles between 1920 and 2005.

The study notes that film violence followed a rough U pattern during this time period, but that societal violence fluctuated differently, with the latter half of the 20th century even showing an increase in film violence associated with reduced societal violence .

A second study into video game violence used data from the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) to estimate the violent content of popular games from 1996 to 2011. This was then compared with data on youth violence during the same years, with the study finding a correlation between falling youth violence and the popularity of violent games.

During this time period youth violence dropped precipitously , despite maintaining very high levels of media violence in society with the introduction of videogames.

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Denmark flag With porn becoming more acceptable, a new large survey reveals that half of the adult population of Denmark watches porn, with most preferring the free stuff.Three quarters of Danish men and a third of Danish women watch porn, according to a new survey carried out on behalf of the women’s magazine Q .

Eight out of ten users said that they only view porn on free sites and 84% said they primarily watch porn alone. One in four respondents said that they see it with their partner.

Helle Hartz, the editor of women’s magazine Tidens Kvinder , told Q that with one third of Danish women watching porn, there has been a change in attitudes toward explicit material.

I think there has been in increase in the number of women who watch porn because there are now so many more woman- or pair-friendly films that appeal to them. It’s become more acceptable to see porn because they are now produced in much better quality and with a focus on women so it’s no longer so ‘sleazy’ to watch.

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porn studies Feona Attwood and Clarissa Smith introduce their Porn Studies journal as follows:This journal has been more than two years in its planning, followed by the exciting, though time-intense and anxiety-making, work of bringing together the content for a launch issue. Porn Studies has been a labour of love. Our interests in bringing the journal to fruition were born out of our personal and professional fascinations with the ways in which pornography matters and is discussed. Clearly pornography is a significant topic across a whole range of academic, public and policy domains, and yet the spaces in which it is discussed and debated are not always conducive to the sharing of research and the development of meaningful dialogue. Just as there are specialist journals, conferences, book series and collections enabling consideration of other areas of media and cultural production, so pornography needs a dedicated space for research and debate.

Researching pornography can be particularly complicated and challenging. Newspaper articles examine the proliferations of sexually explicit materials as evidence of changing mores, of other peoples’ weaknesses and excesses; pornography as an industry is characterized as a big business whose sheer size means it ought to be condemned. It (and pornography is almost always characterized as singular) is portrayed as an industry that succeeds by pandering to ever-more extreme interests and one that pulls everything, even the most innocent of people, into its orbit so that anything which hints at sexuality — dress, topographies of body hair, musical tastes, dancing, and so on — is marked by and marks pornography’s influence . With such ‘overhead noise’ about pornography, uncovering the histories and contemporary forms of sexually explicit representation, their production and consumption, their circulation and distribution, their importance and insignificances can be daunting.

Yet it is too easy to focus on the problems of researching pornography, and we also ought to be able to celebrate successes. Research on pornography has found a home in journals and a presence at seminars and conferences across various disciplines. However, as important as these have been, they have not provided the dedicated space that allows for the development of a research tradition and for discussions about the kinds of approaches and methods which will produce good research. We need a dedicated space to explore the complexities and potentials of research into pornography. This is the right time for a journal for porn studies. We need to develop our methods and theories, and to talk about the importance of different technologies, their particular employment as platforms for distribution, and the contributions these make to the kinds of pornographies that are available. We need to be able to engage with and examine the variety of legislative moves against pornography and how those might be tied to concerns about the spread and accessibility of other forms of information, and we need to recognize where regulation is being lessened or loosened and why this is so.

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Here’s a quote:

We are not killjoys or prudes who think that there should be no sexual information and media for young people. But…

Can you identify the source?

A. Daily Mail
B. Mediawatch-UK
C. Object
D. Church of England
E. New Labour
F. Academics from Middlesex University and the University of Surrey

See press release from

aded lucy pinder logoPsychologists from Middlesex University and the University of Surrey claim that, far from being harmless or ironic fun, lads’ mags could be legitimising hostile sexist attitudes.

The researchers claim that when presented with [out of context, carefully selected, and nebulous] descriptions of women taken from lads’ mags, and comments about women made by convicted rapists, most people who took part in the study could not distinguish the source of the quotes.

The research due to be published in the British Journal of Psychology also revealed that most men who took part in the study identified themselves more with the language expressed by the convicted rapists.

Psychologists presented men between the ages of 18 and 46 with a range of statements taken from magazines and from convicted rapists in the study, and gave the men different information about the source of the quotes. Men identified more with the comments made by rapists more than the quotes made in lads’ mags, but men identified more with quotes said to have been drawn from lads’ mags more than those said to have been comments by convicted rapists.

The researchers also asked a separate group of women and men aged between 19 and 30 to rank the quotes on how derogatory they were, and to try to identify the source of the quotes. Men and women rated the quotes from lads’ mags as somewhat more derogatory, and could categorize the quotes by source little better than chance.

Dr Miranda Horvath and Dr Peter Hegarty argue that the findings are consistent with the possibility that lads’ mags normalise hostile sexism, by making it seem more acceptable when its source is a popular magazine.

Horvath, lead researcher from Middlesex University, said: We were surprised that participants identified more with the rapists’ quotes, and we are concerned that the legitimisation strategies that rapists deploy when they talk about women are more familiar to these young men than we had anticipated.

Horvath, is concerned that lads’ magazine editors are not working hard enough to moderate the content of their magazines: A lot of debate around the regulation of lads’ mags has been to do with how they affect children but less has been said about the influence they have on their intended audience of young men and the women with whom those men socialise.

These magazines support the legitimisation of sexist attitudes and behaviours and need to be more responsible about their portrayal of women, both in words and images. They give the appearance that sexism is acceptable and normal – when really it should be rejected and challenged. Rapists try to justify their actions, suggesting that women lead men on, or want sex even when they say no, and there is clearly something wrong when people feel the sort of language used in a lads’ mag could have come from a convicted rapist.

Hegarty, of the University of Surrey’s Psychology Department, added: There is a fundamental concern that the content of such magazines normalises the treatment of women as sexual objects. We are not killjoys or prudes who think that there should be no sexual information and media for young people. But are teenage boys and young men best prepared for fulfilling love and sex when they normalise views about women that are disturbingly close to those mirrored in the language of sexual offenders? He added that young men should be given credible sex education and not have to rely on lads’ mags as a source of information as they grow up.

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porn researchClarissa Smith, Feona Attwood & Martin Barker are embarking on a research project about the everyday usage of pornography. They are inviting users to contribute via an online anonymous survey. They write:

We want to emphasise from the outset that the research we are conducting is unlike almost all the previous research that has been conducted on pornography. In the past, pornography has overwhelmingly been assumed to be a problem, and the only really important questions to ask about it are — how much do people (and especially children) encounter it, and how great is the harm that it does? This research is different.

Our project is concerned with the everyday uses of pornography, and how the people who use it feel it fits into their lives. Pornography is of course a highly topical issue, subject to many opposing views and strong opinions. And we are not saying that there are no moral or political issues. But we are saying that the voices of users and enjoyers have been swamped. In fact, there is very little research that engages with the users of pornography, asking how, when and why they turn to it.

We want to gather the thoughts and responses of people who have chosen to use pornography of their own accord. We believe that there can be many different and complicated reasons for looking at pornography. We also don’t believe that all the materials that go under that label, pornography, are the same — only to be distinguished by how extreme or explicit they are.

We are hoping to gather thousands of responses from both frequent and infrequent users of pornography. The more we can gather, the more confidently we will be able to present the results in the on-going public debates on this issue. We want to know some very simple things, like what you view, how you find it, how often, what you particularly like, what is exciting and how this fits in with your feelings about sex, your body, and your pleasures.

If you don’t know us, we are happy to tell you about ourselves, you can learn in detail about our previous work in this kind of area. If you just want to move to the questionnaire, we will just say here that all three of us have been involved in questioning the basis of moral campaigns about the media. Clarissa Smith has been researching pornography since the mid-1990s and has written widely about the problems of censorship and the attempts to legislate against sexually explicit materials. Feona Attwood’s research is in the area of sex in contemporary culture and controversial media. Martin Barker has been involved in such work since the early 1980s, beginning with the so-called video nasties campaign.

The questionnaire we are asking you to fill in has been carefully designed. It will enable us to understand the patterns of use of porn by ordinary people. You’ll find the questionnaire is a mix of multiple choice and open questions, and we will only be able to use what you say if you answer all the questions. Please feel free to add as much detail as you like in the spaces available about your pleasures and disappointments in pornography, how you use it and why. We reckon it will take you between 20-30 minutes to complete.

Once this project is completed (which will probably be around the end of 2011), we promise that it will be made widely available, including via this website.

Thank you — and if you agree that these issues badly need more knowledge and less assumption and bias, help us by passing on this weblink to other people.

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Based on article from

Psycho Anniversary Special Steelbook Blu rayTerrifying films can leave viewers with life-long fears, says an academic.

Professor Joanne Cantor questioned hundreds of adults and found that women who have seen Psycho are often frightened to go into the shower, while the threat-laden soundtrack of Jaws can make men tremble.

It, the 1986 film based on a Stephen King novel, shows a clown attacking children in the bathroom, after coming in through the toilet or shower drain.

Professor Cantor, of Wisconsin University in the U.S., told BBC Focus magazine: It produced extended nightmares, and many children avoided the bathroom after that. For many of these children, fear of clowns extended into adulthood.

The professor found the five most frightening films, not ranked in order, were:

  • Jaws
  • Psycho
  • It
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street
  • Poltergeist.

In Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock injected terror into the most benign of places – the shower. The professor, a world expert on the psychology of films, said: Hitchcock took a normal activity that most people do daily and infused it with terror, by showing a totally unanticipated attack in blood horror accompanied by intense music. Many women in my studies who saw that movie are uncomfortable in the shower to this day.

The 1984 slasher movie, A Nightmare on Elm Street, resulted in many sleepless nights, said professor Cantor. This film provided the quintessential recipe for insomnia because the bloodthirsty villain, Freddy Krueger, could only attack you in your dreams, she said. So your only defence against him was to stay awake – and that’s what many reported doing.

…Read the full article


Carleton University researcher

Classic Disney cartoon films are giving children the wrong message about how to deal with stranger danger, psychologists have warned.

They claim films like Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Robin Hood contain scenes in which children receive unwanted personal contact or threatening approaches from adults, and that the victims fail to set a good example in the way they respond.

The study warns that the films also undermine efforts to teach children about personal safety and how to minimise the risk of sexual abuse, by treating the victims’ discomfort with humour.

In one example, the researchers found that the Pinocchio had been groomed by the adult characters Honest John and Gideon but that his response to the abuse resembled victim blaming.

The report says: It is possible that viewing these scenes could influence children to believe that telling a trusted adult about a stranger’s advances is unnecessary because the film characters model successful independence. The academics wrote that they were surprised to find depictions of children being touched, usually by adults, contrary to the expressed desires of the child.

The research, published in the journal Child Abuse, was conducted by a team of psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists at Carleton University, in Canada.

They studied 47 animated feature length Disney films, released between 1937 and 2006. In ten of them, they found examples of unwanted personal contact or scenes which show child characters in risky situations.

The report concludes: The findings raise questions about potential impacts on child audiences. Is the unwanted contact and risky situation content appropriate viewing for children, given efforts to teach children sexual safety?