The Wwf Effect Our Chilren Essay, Research Paper
Does Professional Wrestling Corrupt Our Youth?
Media analysts have uncovered a new culprit in the growing culture of violence
among American youth, professional wrestling. Long considered boorish and pretentious,
televised wrestling is now regularly full of vulgarity, obscenity, and sexual innuendo.
Critics say professional wrestling reinforces sexual and ethnic stereotypes and
communicates to young people that violent, vengeful acts are morally acceptable. The
devastating impact of all this violence affects children, because one-third of the viewing
population is children under the age of fourteen.
Years ago professional wrestling gave up the silly notion that it was simply a
sporting event. Promoters, programmers and the wrestlers themselves admit the matches
are choreographed and a winner is predetermined. Now, there are scriptwriters who write
lines for wrestlers to recite in the ring, in backstage dressing-room banter, even in car
chases. Running story lines of feuds between the wrestlers and their women followers
have included attempted rape. Threats of killing are common in the prematch rhetoric.
Real wrestling is secondary and participants are not so much athletes as actors.
I feel that professional wrestling, especially the WWF (World Wrestling
Federation), corrupts the moral values of our youth and has taken a step in the wrong
direction, especially concerning women. It makes womanizing seem glorious and
acceptable. In the past year, the WWF has stooped to portraying violence against women.
This violence is not portrayed as women wrestling each other, but as men beating up
There are many sexual stereotypes occurring in the world of wrestling that
damages the minds of children. For example, the WWF has had a character called “The
Godfather.” His gimmick is, he’s a pimp. He has women dressed like prostitutes follow
him around. He calls them his “ho train” (whore train). If he is defeated, his opponent
supposedly takes the women from him for the night. I feel that his is very damaging to the
mentality of both boys and girls. This teaches boys that women are mere sex objects and
are inferior to men. Because of the WWF little girls grasp the idea that their intelligence
does not matter, just their body. It also instills in their mind that women are not equal to
men, but of lesser value. I believe that this type of observed behavior ultimately damages
the morality of children and obscures the difference between right and wrong.
In addition to the womanizing that is apparent in the WWF, there are also many
sexual innuendoes in reference to women. I watched one episode of WWF Smackdown!
on UPN and was shocked by what I saw. Val Venus, whose ring persona is that of a porn
star, addressed the women in the audience: Tonight, I would like each and every one of
you to invest in the Big Valbowski s mutual fund. You see, it s always up more than it s
down, and I promise you there will never be an early withdrawal. Big Valbowski is
Venus nickname for his penis. Try to think of a gentle way to tell your twelve year old
daughter what he meant by that. This type of innuendo degrades and disrespects women.
Val Venus disrespect women and talks down to them like they are less than human. In my
eyes, this type of behavior demonstrates to young boys that women are only worthy
enough to be treated as sexual objects.
Millions of children are watching this on TV. This will cause many of them to
grow up thinking that this is acceptable and normal. According to Dr. Bandura, a
behavioral psychologist, People become aggressive because they have learned by
experience, observation and/or imitation that it pays. A child’s readiness to learn through
imitation is a mixed blessing, as any mother will tell you. Children pick up undesirable
behavior as quickly as they pick up desirable activities (20/20 Internet). What children
see, children do. Children are like tape recorders. In large part, they replay and reenact
what they’ve seen and heard. When they see men beating up women, the image is stored in
their minds, waiting to be replayed and reenacted later.
The ironic part of these actions which corrupt the morality of our children is that
the WWF blames you, the parent, for the trauma that is affecting your children. In an
USA Weekend interview, one of the most famous wrestling superstars, “The Rock,” says
he has no problem with kids watching his show. However, he does add this: “As a
responsible parent, it’s important that you monitor what your kids are watching. At times,
our show is edgy. At times, it’s sexual. But we’re G-rated compared to what you can see
on other television shows. Nobody gets killed or raped on our shows. For a parent to
blame what their kids have done on me is ridiculous” (USA Weekend Internet)
The problem with The Rock s argument is that unfortunately parents cannot
monitor what their children are watching every moment of the day. Even if they could,
children can still have access to such viewing at a friend s house whose parents do not find
it necessary to monitor his/her television viewing. The Rock s comment about the
WWF being edgy at times is a total understatement. In fact, a yearlong study conducted
by University of Indiana telecommunications professor Walter Gantz of 50 WWF Raw
episodes found 1,658 incidents of wrestlers grabbing or pointing to their crotch, 157
counts of an obscene hand gesture, 128 occasions of simulated sexual activity, 47
incidents of satanic activity, and 20 appearances of a character portraying a prostitute
(20/20 Internet). A little edgy?
The owner and producer of the WWF, Vince McMahon, stated on a 20/20 report
that he is not to blame for the violence that children display. He claims himself to be a
responsible broadcaster, because his program is given a rating to guide parents. From
a parent s stand point, whether you choose to watch us or whether you allow your
children to watch us, that s your decision (20/20 Internet)
In that same 20/20 report on the World Wrestling Federation and the social effect
it has on America and especially on children, one young fan was even performing a patent
action of Stone Cold Steve Austin, raising the middle finger. This child s parents did
not teach him this action or the meaning of it. Instead the WWF taught this child. This
child did not lack parental involvement, but became a product of the virtual reality of
television (20/20 Internet)
In an interview with INSIDE EDITION, Vince McMahon advocated that it is
not his responsibility to educate the youth, but instead he is to entertain the nation. He
also credits the skyrocketing popularity of wrestling to creative direction. But
McMahon says, That s entertainment it happens in every school, in every location on
the street so, in essence we re being contemporary (Inside Edition Internet).
Entertainment? Is that what you call a cast of characters masquerading as pimps,
porn stars, gruesome undertakers and S&M enthusiasts these days? This is broadcasted
during prime time. This is the world view that the media corporation is teaching the
children: that there is no right and wrong, that glory and honor belong to whoever is the
The sad part of this controversy is that children learning vulgarity from the WWF
is just the tip of the iceberg. Last year alone, a twelve year old Florida boy was charged
with murder in the death of a six year old neighbor girl who was thrown into an iron
stairway railing, a move he had seen on television. A three year old Texas boy died after
his seven year old brother put a so-called “running clothesline” move across his throat.
And a 12-year-old boy in the state of Washington was convicted of second-degree felony
murder after repeatedly body-slamming his eighteen month old cousin on a couch (20/20
Internet). When did television ratings become more important than the lives and well
being of our children?
Unfortunately, professional wrestling is here to stay, at least for now. All of you
parents can try to monitor your child s television viewing. Watch at least one episode of
the program your child views so you can better understand the content and discuss it with
them. Also, try to explain questionable incidents (e.g. random violence) that occur and
discuss alternatives to violent actions as ways to solve problems. Ban programs that are
too violent or offensive. Restrict television viewing to educational programming and
shows or programs which demonstrate helping, caring and cooperation. Encourage
children to participate in more interactive activities such as sports, hobbies or playing with
friends. And, most of all, limit the amount of time children spend watching television.
Hopefully, you can save your children s morality from the evil grips of professional
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