Waxmonsky, J., & Beresin, E. V. (2001). Taking professional wrestling to the mat: a look at the appeal potential effects of professional wrestling on children. Academic Psychiatry, 25 (2), 125-131.
Abstract: Notes that professional wrestling (PW) has gained a firm foothold in American culture and that children comprise a large portion of its television viewing audience. This article analyzes PW’s broad appeal and predicts the possible effects it will have on children who are exposed to significant amounts of it. It is noted that society has struggled with how to respond to their children’s fascination with PW, a novel hybrid between sports and entertainment. The authors maintain that parents expose children to sports, thinking they will learn healthy ways of managing conflict and aggression. It is argued that PW is not a sport and that its values are the exact opposite of traditional sportsmanship; it demonstrates to children that cheating and verbal intimidation are effective problem-solving techniques. Because PW resembles sports, the authors suggest that children are at risk of applying its values to legitimate sports, as well as other realms of life. It is concluded that parents can prevent this association by differentiating PW from sports, and the entertainment industry can prevent it by stopping their aggressive marketing of PW to children. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)