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Wrestling Violence: Violence Beyond the Mat - Christian Resource Centre (Bermuda)
Children's Entertainment
Researchers at Wake Forest University have discovered that there may be a direct link between watching professional wrestling on television and increased amounts of "date fighting" and other derogatory behaviour.

Dr. Robert Durant, one of the study's authors, said the intensity of such behaviour corresponded with the amount of exposure to wrestling.

The behaviour Durant and his team were looking for was increased amount of drinking, drug use and fighting, both verbally and physically, with their dates.

"Is it causing these behaviours or is it that those adolescents were more prone to engage in health risk behaviours and in other violent behaviours more likely to watch wrestling," Durant said. "I would think that a little of both is occurring."

The researchers found that among high school students, the frequency that they had watched wrestling in the previous two weeks was associated with the frequency that they had engaged in tobacco, alcohol and other substance use, as well as the frequency that they engaged in behaviours like fighting and carrying weapons.

Durant also said that he was surprised to see that teenage girls who watched wrestling were also more likely to fight with their dates as well.

"We have to advise parents to monitor what their children are watching and be careful about the amount of violence and substance abuse they allow their children to watch on television," he said.

ABC Radio contributed to this report

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