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Violent Media Content: A Cross-Media, Longitundinal Analysis
Unformatted Document Text:  20 There was an average of 2.71 themes of physical violence against people per primetime television synopsis that contained violence (see Table 1). Of those, most (46.1%) were rated “very severe, 5” on a scale of 1 to 5. The degree of graphicness in the themes was difficult to assess in the synopses, resulting in over three-quarters (76.8%) of violent themes being coded as “not applicable.” However, 11.1% were given the lowest score for graphicness and 5.9% were given the highest score. Fifteen percent of the physically violent themes contained mention of rewards associated with violence, whereas three percent mentioned punishments. Over one in ten (16.6%) of the physical themes of violence against people implied some justification for the violence. The level of pain or harm to victims and the presence of regret were deemed “not applicable” for 87.1% of the physically violent themes in the synopses, with much smaller numbers of realistic levels of pain (7.7%) and somewhat minimized levels of pain (5.2%). In 5.5% of the synopses containing physical violence against people, a humorous element was found. Although the majority of the time, the coders found the issue of likeable perpetrators not applicable to these stories (81.9%), in 8.9% of the themes the perpetrator was a “good guy” and in 7.4%, he or she was a “bad guy.” Somewhat similarly, the victim’s likeability was deemed irrelevant by coders 66.4% of the time. However, in 21% of the physically violent themes, the coders determined the victim to be likeable. Finally, the most common weapons discussed in the primetime television synopses featuring physical violence against people were guns (18.5%) and fists or other body parts (15.9%). In addition to the physically violent acts against people described above, there was an average of .27 themes of verbal violence against people and .05 acts of physical violence against objects per synopsis in the primetime television program synopses that

Authors: Scharrer, Erica.
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20
There was an average of 2.71 themes of physical violence against people per
primetime television synopsis that contained violence (see Table 1). Of those, most
(46.1%) were rated “very severe, 5” on a scale of 1 to 5. The degree of graphicness in the
themes was difficult to assess in the synopses, resulting in over three-quarters (76.8%) of
violent themes being coded as “not applicable.” However, 11.1% were given the lowest
score for graphicness and 5.9% were given the highest score. Fifteen percent of the
physically violent themes contained mention of rewards associated with violence,
whereas three percent mentioned punishments. Over one in ten (16.6%) of the physical
themes of violence against people implied some justification for the violence. The level
of pain or harm to victims and the presence of regret were deemed “not applicable” for
87.1% of the physically violent themes in the synopses, with much smaller numbers of
realistic levels of pain (7.7%) and somewhat minimized levels of pain (5.2%). In 5.5% of
the synopses containing physical violence against people, a humorous element was
found. Although the majority of the time, the coders found the issue of likeable
perpetrators not applicable to these stories (81.9%), in 8.9% of the themes the perpetrator
was a “good guy” and in 7.4%, he or she was a “bad guy.” Somewhat similarly, the
victim’s likeability was deemed irrelevant by coders 66.4% of the time. However, in 21%
of the physically violent themes, the coders determined the victim to be likeable. Finally,
the most common weapons discussed in the primetime television synopses featuring
physical violence against people were guns (18.5%) and fists or other body parts (15.9%).
In addition to the physically violent acts against people described above, there
was an average of .27 themes of verbal violence against people and .05 acts of physical
violence against objects per synopsis in the primetime television program synopses that


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