SResearchers have always said that watching violent movies can make you more aggressive, but according to USA Today, a new study out of the UK has found that watching movies with "relational aggression" — where characters are verbally abusive — can make audiences more mean. A professor tested this theory by asking 53 college-aged women to watch, among other things, a scene from Mean Girls. The professor, Sarah Coyne, says: "Everyone's concerned about violence in the media… But we're missing out on lots of violence out there. We need to look at these other types of aggression."Agreed! But forget the movies: Between the talking heads on the news, squabblers on reality shows, magazines that mock women who dare to leave the house without makeup or hit the beach with cellulite and mean-spirited blogs where cum shots are drawn on teenage celebrities, is it any wonder we're becoming a nation of assholes? For instance: What would prompt a person to write the following comment on Sadie's post about meeting her fiancé's parents: "Wow your body looks like a 90 year old lady's. Gross." ??? Why do people read Drunken Stepfather? Why do millions of women visit PerezHilton.com every day? Do we blame movies? Do we blame our fast-paced, "throw-away" culture, in which being kind and gentle means you're sure to be trampled? Do we blame (DUM DUM DUM!) the Internet, where people's freedom to express themselves often turns into nasty one-up-manship? One thing's for sure: Some people are already mean. But with the validation of movies, magazines and websites, they figure, why hide it? Meanness Appears To Rub Off On Viewers [USA Today]
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