Hence, the overall effect of previews is to accentuate violent and sexually aggressive behavior on part of the viewer by showing condensed, yet intense, acts of violence and sex on screen. That movie-goers see plenty more trailers and advertisements compared to full-length films results in the promotion of these negative consequences. While this form of marketing tactics might help ‘sell’ the movie product, they bring forth an array of social and ethical issues. For example, the use of violence and aggression as “a means of marketing entertainment is fraught with a host of problems, including potential risks of increasing aggression, of exposing viewers to materials that they may find distressing, and of contributing to desensitization, among others. As a result, regardless of whether or not violence is an effective selling tool, other means of selling entertainment that are similarly effective at increasing viewer interest and anticipated enjoyment are worthy of research attention.” (Oliver, et. al., 2007, p.596)
Hence, adult movies have to cut down on the amount and intensity of violence and sex that they show. Recent surveys already show that audience are getting disillusioned with the commercialism rampant in the industry and are looking for alternatives. For example, the recent booming of foreign language movies (shown with English subtitles) is an indication of the growing discontent with mainstream fare in general and an indictment against its obsession with sex and violence. Movie critic Michael Medved, whose association with Hollywood spans many decades, sums it up neatly when he says that romantic notions conventionally associated with Hollywood are over. Instead, most of the fans have woken up to the sad reality that “the entertainment industry no longer represents a source of enchantment, magical fantasy, uplift, or even harmless diversion. Popular culture is viewed now as an implacable enemy, a threat to their basic values and a menace to the raising of their children. The Hollywood dream factory has become the poison factory.” (Michael Medved, 1993, p.79)
Finally, one of the constructive measures that parents and school administrators can take to contain the problem of adult movie exposure, is through awareness programs. As the psychologist interviewed for this essay notes, “It (awareness program) is beneficial and it plays an important role in teenagers’ life because teenagers feel lost during adolescent. Thus, they need awareness and guidance. I would suggest to start guiding children from their early ages because children communicate with the outside world more than their family – this is especially true of this generation. So, they need to be advised and directed to the right path.” (Interviewed Psychologist, 2011)
“Facts That Should Change the World: America Spends $10Bn Each Year on Porn-More Than It Spends on Going to See Hollywood Movies and the Same as on Foreign Aid.” New Statesman 7 June 2004: 15.
Medved, Michael. “Hollywood’s Poison Factory: The Movies’ Twisted Image.” USA Today (Society for the Advancement of Education) Sept. 1993: 79+.
Nutt, Timothy G. “”Somebody Somewhere Needs to Draw the Line”: Deep Throat and the Regulation of Obscenity in Little Rock.” The Arkansas Historical Quarterly 69.2 (2010): 91+.
Oliver, Mary Beth, Sriram Kalyanaraman, Chad Mahood, and Srividya Ramasubramanian. “Sexual and Violent Imagery in Movie Previews: Effects on Viewers’ Perceptions and Anticipated Enjoyment.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 51.4 (2007): 596+.
Applied Developmental Psychology 25 (2004) 741 – 750
Patricia M. Greenfield, Inadvertent exposure to pornography on the Internet: Implications of peer-to-peer file-sharing networks for child development and families, Children’s Digital Media Center and Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 2005, p.570-580, retrieved from http://forums.newspeakdictionary.com/img/Inadvertent_exposure_to_porn.pdf on 23rd March, 2011
Wendy L. Josephson, Ph.D., Television Violence: A Review of the Effects on Children of Different Ages Summary of Recommendations, Report of the Department of Canadian Heritage, Feb. 1995, Republished with permission the Minister of Public Works, retrieved from < http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/resources/research_documents/reports/violence/tv_violence_child.cfm> on 23rd March, 2011