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Violence in PG-13 rated movies not linked to violence in US society

Claims about PG-13 rated movie violence and its link to violence in society are not consistent with available evidence, according to study published in the Springer journal Psychiatric Quarterly. Authors Christopher J. Ferguson at Stetson University and Patrick Markey at Villanova University in the United States, examined possible associations between violence and gun use in PG-13-rated movies, and levels of gun related homicide, homicide and aggravated assault in US society.

Some previous research, including studies conducted as recently as 2018 has suggested that parents may become desensitized to violence in PG-13 rated movies. Such studies have speculated that this desensitization may make them more likely to bring their children to see such movies.

Christopher J. Ferguson said: “Evidence suggests that edgier, more violent content may increase in PG-13 and PG movies over time. This is because PG-13 rated movies may be considered particularly marketable as action-oriented fun but without the graphicness that parents may consider inappropriate for younger children. This had been called a ‘ratings creep’. However, whether it is an actual problem for public health remains unknown; that’s the research gap we aimed to fill in this study.”

To test trends in PG-13-rated movie violence against trends in violence in society, including homicides and youth violence, the authors examined several different datasets. They assessed data on PG-13-rated movies collected by other researchers during previous research, violent crime data provided by the FBI, youth violence data sourced from the National Crime Victimization Survey, and US Census Bureau data on socioeconomic factors such as poverty, education and economic stability.

Analysing data from 1985 to 2015, the authors hypothesized that years in which films were more violent would also exhibit higher rates of violent crime, and that a rise in gun violence depicted in PG-13-rated movies would be associated with changes in gun related homicides. Contrary

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