A new study has revealed that adolescents who watch professional wrestling on television have a higher tendency to be violent, have unsafe sex and show other risky behaviours.
The study led by Robert H. DuRant, Ph.D of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C. has found that as the frequency of watching wrestling increases, the rate of risky behaviours also goes up.
DuRant and colleagues surveyed 2,300 young people, aged 16 to 20, across the United States where twenty-two percent males and fourteen percent females said they had watched professional wrestling on television over the past two weeks.
The survey found that respondents who had tried to hurt someone with a weapon watched 67 percent more wrestling than those who had not tried to hurt anyone.
Those had engaged in sex without birth control watched wrestling 42 percent more frequently than those who used birth control.
And smokers watched wrestling 31 percent more often than non-smokers.
"Youth who watch wrestling are exposed to a barrage of images of severe violence without the expected negative consequences, the degrading of women, sexuality connected with violence, and extreme verbal intimidation and abuse between wrestlers and their female escorts and/or women wrestlers," the researchers wrote.
"Reducing children's and adolescents' exposure to violence from electronic media sources should be an important component of any violence-prevention strategy," they added.
The study is published in the February Southern Medical Journal, official journal of the Southern Medical Association.