Social Psychology

Social Psychology

Social Psychology 150 150 Peter

Social Psychology

Write a two-page critique on “Does exposure to TV violence or to pornography trigger aggressive behavior? ” Be sure to do your research on the topic, cite the references in the body as well as on the reference page. A title page is REQUIRED for this assignment. You MUST read the chapter in order to understand the topic above (Chapter 11, Kassin, S., Fein, S., & Markus, H. R. (2021). Social Psychology, 11th Edition).

Sample Paper

Aggressive behavior can be described as intentional behavior, which can be physical or verbal and aims at causing physical or emotional harm. Aggressive behavior among individuals varies across various factors such as culture and gender. Males tend to have more physical, aggressive behavior than females, who are more relational aggressive. Exposure to certain conditions may also influence aggressive behavior in an individual. According to the social learning theory, individuals learn through observation and imitation of others (Kassin et al., 2021). A person can therefore engage in a particular behavior mimicked by others. Exposure to TV violence or pornography can therefore trigger aggressive behavior. Correlational and longitudinal evidence has established a link between violent media and aggressive behavior, ranging from mild forms of aggression, aggressive thoughts, decreased empathy, desensitization to violence, acceptance of norms that condone aggressive behavior, and everyday sadism (Delhove & Greitemeyer, 2021). Exposure to TV violence increases the likelihood of aggressive behavior for both adults and children in the short run. This is because the individual will tend to decrease sensitivity to violence. Exposure to certain cues such as guns creates hostile thoughts that instigate aggressive actions.

Exposure to pornography has been linked to sexually aggressive behavior, especially teen dating violence. Males are known to perpetrate more teen dating violence compared to females, who are perpetrators of physical and psychological teen dating violence. The females, however they both perpetrators and victims in multiple forms of teen dating violence. Studies show that adolescents with exposure to violent pornography are six times more likely to exhibit sexual aggressive behavior compared to those with no exposure (Rostad et al., 2019). Exposure to pornography is linked to aggressive behavior since a large portion of pornography is aggressive. Studies show that over half of a racially diverse sample of teens reported being asked to view pornography with a sexual or dating partner, with 44% being asked by their partner to act out what was viewed in pornography (Rostad et al., 2019). Exposure to pornography, especially violent pornography, increases the risk of negative attitudes towards women increasing the risk of violence against women and risky sexual behavior.

Exposure to pornography also triggers aggressive behavior, especially in an individual that is within social conditioning, which promotes aggression. Studies show that for males high in sexual promiscuity and hostile masculinity, exposure to pornography intensifies sexual aggressive behavior (Rostad et al., 2019). Exposure to pornography influences aggressive behavior through scripts. Sexual behaviors and roles are perceived as acceptable, gratifying, and normative. The more an individual is exposed to degrading and aggressive depictions of sexuality, the more they are likely to model similar in sexual relationships and dating. An individual is likely to adopt an attitude that supports violence against another gender.


Based on the existing research, exposure to TV violence or pornography trigger aggressive behavior as individuals model the behavior of their models in the platforms. The exposure influences their thoughts and attitudes. The influence can be explained through the social learning theory, which asserts that individuals learn through observation and imitating the behavior of others. TV violence and pornography provide a script used to model aggressive behavior by an individual. Exposure to TV violence and pornography affects both children and adults. Depending on the duration of the exposure, the impact may be short or long-term, especially for children. The exposure triggers not only aggressive behavior but also intensifies aggressive behavior.



Delhove, M., & Greitemeyer, T. (2021). Violent media use and aggression: Two longitudinal network studies. The Journal of Social Psychology161(6), 697-713.

Kassin, S., Fein, S., & Markus, H. R. (2021). Social Psychology, 11th Edition).

Rostad, W. L., Gittins-Stone, D., Huntington, C., Rizzo, C. J., Pearlman, D., & Orchowski, L. (2019). The association between exposure to violent pornography and teen dating violence in grade 10 high school students. Archives of sexual behavior48(7), 2137-2147.