Health Tips

Screen Test: Being Aware of Violence in Movies

teen girlThe movies are not the safest place to escape anymore, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics. The study, “Gun Violence Trends in Movies,” shows that violence in movies has more than doubled since 1950, and gun violence in PG-13 movies has more than tripled since the rating was introduced in 1985.

The researchers examined a sample of top grossing films from 1950 to 2012. Breaking them down to five-minute segments, they coded them for the presence of guns and violence. The researchers discovered that violence decreased in G and PG rated movies and was stable in R rated movies. The biggest shift, however, was in the movies rated PG-13. In fact, since 2009, PG-13 movies display as much or more violence — including gun violence — as movies rated R. And anyone who has seen a superhero movie recently can see these findings in action.

Helping your child make wise choices when it comes to the movies

Repeated exposure to violent images such as those in the movies and on TV may cause your child to become desensitized. Studies have repeatedly linked aggressive behavior to violent images in the media. As a parent, you can help your child make wise choices when it comes to the movies.

Reviewed by: Patrick S. Pasquariello Jr., MD
Date: December 2013

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