Verbal aggression refers to an attack on the self-image of another, such as personal insults, sarcasm, name-calling and shouting at the other person. It serves only a negative purpose and is often a precursor to physical aggression, with verbal attacks escalating into physical violence. Victims of verbal aggression suffer psychological harm, perhaps more and longer lasting than a physical attack. For example, children teased about their physical condition could suffer a lifetime of psychological repercussions.
Jack Glascock, associate professor of communication at the Illinois State University, and Catherine Preston-Schreck, an independent scholar, conducted a content analysis to examine verbal aggression, race and gender presented in the cable and broadcast television reality programs such as Fast & Loud, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Big Brother, The Voice, Amazing Race, The Bachelor, The Biggest Loser, Cops and Cheaters.
Researchers examined physical quality categories — gender, race/ethnicity (Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, Asian American, Native American and other), attractiveness level (attractive, average, unattractive) — and the type of verbal aggression: swearing, sarcasm, threats, maledictions, yelling or shouting at, mocking or ridiculing, nonverbal emblems and attacks on competence, character, background and appearance.
The authors found verbal aggression to have a strong presence in reality TV programming. African-Americans were found to be overrepresented and depicted disproportionately as more verbally aggressive and more likely to be victims of verbal aggression than other races and ethnicities. African-American women were more likely than men to be involved in verbal aggression, both as aggressor and victim.
To read the full text of the study: https://bit.ly/2O3VHBu
Glascock, J., & Preston-Schreck, C. (2018). Verbal Aggression, Race, and Sex on Reality TV: Is This Really the Way It Is?. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 62(3), 427-444.