Koukounas, E., McCabe, M.P. (2001). Emotional responses to filmed violence and the eye blink startle response: A preliminary investigation. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 16 (5), 476-488.

Abstract:  Assessed gender differences in emotional responses to violent film. Both subjective emotional response and eye blink startle magnitude were assessed while 20 men (mean age 22.7 yrs) and 20 women (mean age 30.1 yrs) viewed a series of 5 violent film segments and 5 nature scenes. Ss exhibited higher levels of curiosity, anxiety, disgust, and anger and lower levels of positive emotion and boredom in response to the violent film segments in comparison with the nature material. Startle response was magnified during the violent film segments, indicating an aversive response. Evidence that men and women responded to the violence differently was demonstrated by men experiencing greater positive feelings, entertainment, and curiosity in relation to the violent film, whereas women reported more disgust, boredom, anger and experienced greater startle in relation to the violent scenes portrayed in the film. Future directions for investigating filmed violence are outlined. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)