Ill Effects: The Media/Violence Debate

By Martin Barker; Julian Petley | Go to book overview
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(1990, 1996). The discourses about 'media effects' from politicians and the popular press are already quite laughably simplistic enough: academics shouldn't encourage them in their delusions.

Interestingly, in 1999 the BBFC was also arguing that it should refuse to give some videos 'R18' certificates because children might see and be harmed by them. This classification is for sex videos which can be purchased only by adults in licensed sex shops. The BBFC had previously refused to award certificates to certain videos destined for this strictly adults-only category, but only on the grounds of obscenity, never on the basis that children might view them in the home-the whole point of the R18 category, the very reason that it was created in the first place, being that children aren't supposed to see videos with this classification. The BBFC would appear thus to be undermining the entirety of its own classification system by suggesting that the age-based restrictions on its certificates are in fact irrelevant. (For further details see Petley (2000) and the relevant pages at
For a previous discussion of this topic, see also Gauntlett (1998).
A longitudinal panel study is one in which the same group of people (the panel) is surveyed and/or observed at a number of points over a period of time.

Barker, Martin (ed.) (1984), The Video Nasties: Freedom and Censorship in the Media, London: Pluto.
Barker, Martin (1989), Comics: Ideology, Power and the Critics, Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Barker, Martin (1993), 'Sex, violence and videotape', in Sight and Sound, 3:5, pp. 10-12.
Borden, Richard J. (1975), 'Witnessed aggression: influence of an observer's sex and values on aggressive responding', in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31:3, pp. 567-73.
Browne, Kevin (1999), 'Violence in the media causes crime: myth or reality', Inaugural Lecture, 3 June 1999, University of Birmingham.
Browne, Kevin and Pennell, Amanda (1998), 'Effects of video violence on young offenders', Home Office Research and Statistics Directorate Research Findings, No. 65.
Buckingham, David (1993), Children Talking Television: The Making of Television Literacy, London: Falmer Press.
Buckingham, David (1996), Moving Images: Understanding Children's Emotional Responses to Television, Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Chaffee, Steven H. (1972), Television and adolescent aggressiveness (overview)', in Comstock, George A., and Rubenstein, Eli A., eds, Television and Social Behaviour: Reports and Papers,Volume III:Television and Adolescent Agressiveness, National Institute of Mental Health, Maryland.
Cumberbatch, Guy and Howitt, Dennis (1989), A Measure of Uncertainty: The Effects of the Mass Media, John Libbey, London: Broadcasting Standards Council Research Monograph.


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