Violence in music videos: Examining the prevalence and context of physical aggression

Stacy L. Smith, Aaron R. Boyson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine violence in music video programming. Using a representative sample of television content, we assessed whether the amount and context of physical aggression varied across different music video channels (BET, MTV, VH-1) and genres (adult contemporary, heavy metal, rap, rhythm and blues, and rock). The results reveal that 15% of music videos feature violence, and most of that aggression is sanitized, not chastised, and presented in realistic contexts. Significant differences emerged in the prevalence and nature of violence by channel and genre, however. The findings are discussed in terms of the risk that exposure to violence in each channel and genre may be posing to viewers' learning of aggression, fear, and emotional desensitization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-83
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Communication
Volume52
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2002

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