Researchers from Ohio State University and Annenberg Public Policy Center are set to publish a study in the December edition of Pediatrics that focuses on the increased gun violence in movies, especially those rated PG-13. They found that gun violence in PG-13 movies has more than tripled since the rating was introduced in 1985, to a point that it’s more prevalent there than in R-rated movies. This shouldn’t be a huge surprise for anyone who has seen some of the year’s biggest PG-13 movies like Fast & Furious 6, World War Z, or G.I. Joe: Retaliation. “By including guns in violent scenes, ﬁlm producers may be strengthening the weapons effect and providing youth with scripts for using guns,” the researchers concludes. (The “weapon effect” refers to the phenomenon scientific studies have shown in which “the mere presence of guns can increase aggression.”) The authors are hoping that MPAA grows stricter when rating movies with a lot of gun violence. To which the MPAA responded, “Hey, but at least these teenagers aren’t seeing boobs or hearing too many curse words, amirite?”
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