Nov 13 2013

Politics of Parenting: New Study Shows PG-13 Films More Violent Than R Rated Films!

It’s Saturday night and your kids want to watch a movie. There’s no way you’ll let them see an R-rated film but what about PG-13? Seems harmless right? But before you decide which film you’d like your children to watch you might want to take a look at a new study released by Ohio State University and the Annenberg Public Policy Center, which found that PG-13 movies now have more violence than ones rated R.

According to the study which examined over 900 movies representing the 30 top box office films each year between 1950 and 2012, gun violence in PG-13 movies has more than doubled since 1950 and is now surprisingly at greater levels than in movies rated R. The group which determines a movie’s rating is the Motion Picture Association of America or MPAA. While the ratings system was first put into place in 1968 to help parents who were trying to find appropriate films for their children, those ratings now seem to be a meaningless gauge of a film’s suitability for young audiences.

In 1985 when the PG-13 rating was started,PG-13 movies had similar levels of violence to film’s rated G or PG film but by 2009 levels of gun violence were as high as those found in R-rated films and depictions of violent shootings have actually tripled in PG-13 films. On average, researchers found that a two hour film could have up to 25 minutes of gun violence.

GUEST: Prof Dan Romer, Director of the Adolescent Communication Institute of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania and a co-author of the study Gun Violence Trends in Movies

Visit www.commonsensemedia.org and www.kids-in-mind.org for alternatives to MPAA’s ratings.

Click here to read the full study to be published in Pediatrics Journal.

4 responses so far

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