Zwei bibliographische Angaben konnten ermittelt werden:
Belson, W. (1978) Television violence and the adolescent boy. Hampshire, England: Saxon House
Belson, W. (1978). Television Violence and the Adolescent Boy. Franborough: Teakfield.
Eine Zusammenfassung findet sich in "Impact of Televised Violence", John P. Murray, Ph.D:
In a different approach, a study by Belson (1978) has substantiated other long-term effects and has helped pin down which types of programs have the most influence. Belson interviewed 1565 youths who were a representative sample of thirteen to seventeen-year-old boys living in London. These boys were interviewed on several occasions concerning the extent of their exposure to a selection of violent television programs broadcast during the period 1959-71. The level and type of violence in these programs were rated by members of the BBC viewing panel. It was thus possible to obtain, for each boy, a measure of both the magnitude and type of exposure to televised violence (e.g. realistic, fictional, etc.). Furthermore, each boy's level of violent behavior was determined by his own report of how often he had been involved in any of 53 categories of violence over the previous six months. The degree of seriousness of the acts reported by the boys ranged from only slightly violent aggravation such as taunting, to more serious and very violent behavior such as: 'I tried to force a girl to have sexual intercourse with me; I bashed a boy's head against a wall; I threatened to kill my father; I burned a boy on the chest with a cigarette while my mates held him down'. Approximately 50 per cent of the 1565 boys were not involved in any violent acts during the six-month period. However, of those who were involved in violence, 188 (12 per cent) were involved in ten or more acts during the six-month period. When Belson compared the behavior of boys who had higher exposure to televised violence to those who had lower exposure (and had been matched on a wide variety of possible contributing factors), he found that the high- violence viewers were more involved in serious violent behavior. Moreover, he found that serious interpersonal violence is increased by long-term exposure to (in descending order of importance):
- Plays or films in which close personal relationships are a major theme and which feature verbal or physical violence
- Programs in which violence seems to be thrown in for its own sake or is not necessary to the plot
- Programs featuring fictional violence of a realistic nature
- Programs in which the violence is presented as being in a good cause
- Violent westerns.
Es erscheint relativ heuchlerisch vor diesem Hintegrund, The Sweeney abzufeiern und Target zu verunglimpfen, abgesehen davon, daß Belsons Ansatz ein weiteres Beispiel für monokausale Erklärungen eines komplexen Problems darstellt. Den Medien wird -wie später in der bizarren video nasties-Debatte - die Verantwortung für soziale Probleme zugeschoben, in einer möglicherweise, denn diese Debatte dauert an, krassen Verdrehung von Ursache und Wirkung.
Target hatte keine Lobby und kam zudem ausgerechnet von der BBC. Ein Bauernopfer?