AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY OF ROCK VIDEO'S IMPACT UPON THE ATTITUDES AND VALUES OF NORMAL AND EMOTIONALLY DISTURBED ADOLESCENTS
Rock music videos have been a staple of adolescent culture since 1981. Very little is known about the effects of rock music videos on those who view them. Some parents and educators are concerned that so-called "porn rock" videos, which contain sex, violence, or sexualized violence, may be psychologically damaging. In 1985, Senate hearings considered whether "porn rock" records and videos should be regulated. To assess the effects of music videos on the attitudes and values of adolescents, three experiments were conducted with different populations: forty-seven college students, sixty-seven high school students, and twenty-six emotionally disturbed male high school students. Subjects viewed and evaluated 35 minutes of music videos. Subjects were randomly assigned to watch either the experimental, "porn rock" videotape or the control, "soft rock" videotape. Immediately after viewing, all subjects answered the Semantic Differential, which assessed attitudes toward eleven aspects of adolescent life. College and high school subjects were also given two TAT cards and scales assessing Rape with Acceptance (RMA), Adversarial Sexual Beliefs (ASB), and Acceptance of Interpersonal Violence (AIV). The TAT cards were scored for sexual and aggressive imagery. The results of these experiments indicated that "porn rock" music videos have no effect upon adolescents' attitudes toward sexual activity and interpersonal aggression as measured by the TAT cards, RMA, ASB, and AIV scales. Significant results obtained on the Semantic Differential indicated that experimental college females were more inclined to condemn aggression than were control females. Experimental college males regarded their parents as being more active than control males. Experimental high school females regarded sexual activity less favorably than control females. Experimental high school males disapproved of recreational drug use more than control males. Emotionally disturbed high school males in the experimental condition viewed themselves and sexual activities as being less active than controls, while viewing school as more active. Virtually all adolescents preferred the visual images and music of the control music videos. Cumulatively, results from the Semantic Differential suggest either no effect or impulse inhibition. Allegedly harmful effects from exposure to music videos were not demonstrated in these experiments.