Teenage fans of TV wrestling are more likely than their peers to be aggressive or take chances with their health, a study suggests.
Researchers found that among 2,300 16- to 20-year-old Americans, those who watched professional wrestling were more likely to be violent, smoke or have unprotected sex -- and the more they watched TV wrestling, the greater their odds of taking such risks.
The findings, reported in the Southern Medical Journal, do not prove that watching wrestling alters young people's behavior. "It may be the case that kids who have a personality that leads them to be aggressive also gravitate to watching wrestling on TV," noted Dr. Mark Wolfson, one of the researchers on the study and an associate professor at Wake-Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Of the teenagers in their survey, just over 22 percent of males said they had watched pro wrestling in the past two weeks, as did 14 percent of females.