Researchers at the University of Michigan have "found that repeated exposure to violent television shows and video games have a stronger influence on aggressive behaviour than being poor, having a substance abuse or growing up with abusive parents", according to a Fox Business report on the findings. Based on over thirty years of research on a sample set of 856 third graders, the study contends that exposure to violent content has "a stronger influence on aggressive behaviour than being poor, having a substance abuse or growing up with abusive parents". Virtual violence, researchers found, has "profoundly serious implications for society".The University of Michigan researchers findings indicate that men who are exposed to violent television in video games were more likely to assault their spouses. Women were comparably more likely to have thrown things at their spouses or assaulted another adult.
The study's fact sheet makes note of the fact that as the popularity of video games has increased since the 1990s, violent crime has decreased. Furthermore, it points out that European gamers, who also enjoy the same content, have a much lower propensity for crime.
A very interesting study, one that I'll have to read more closely after I've finished prepping the mailman for the woodchipper.
Researchers Link Video Games to Adulthood Violence [Fox Business]