A new study published in Pediatrics argues that over the last 30 years, gun violence has tripled in the most popular PG-13 movies. The rating, which was created by the Motion Picture Association of America in the 1980s to establish a middle ground between “Parental Guidance Suggested” (PG) and “Restricted” (R) movies, cautions “some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.” Yet the study finds that since 2009, “PG-13 rated films have contained as much or more violence as R-Rated films.”
“All these violent films, which in another era would have been rated ‘R,’ are now getting either a lenient ‘PG-13’ rating or a studio or director are going back and nipping and tucking,” Los Angeles Times reporter Steven Zeitchik tells Kurt Andersen. “The net effect is the same: there’s just a lot of violence in movies kids could see.”
Kurt notes that all entertainment media — including TV and videogames — seem to show an increase in violence. Zeitchik agrees, but wonders why the MPAA hasn’t budged an inch on other issues. “There doesn’t seem to be an evolving attitude on language, certainly on sex,” he tells Kurt. “It seems to be driven more by economics than a redefined moral standard.”
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Teach Your ChildrenArtist: Kidz Bop KidsAlbum: Kidz Bop GoldLabel: Razor & Tie