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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For many parents, going to the movies means picking a flick based on what you don’t want your child to see.
From violence and adult language to sexual content and nudity, many adults take film ratings into consideration. But, are they still on point?
New research by the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center found parents no longer feel PG-13 movies are appropriate for children that age.
Instead, data shows many parents found justified gun violence, carried out in defense of a loved one or self-protection, was better suited for fifteen-year-olds. Unjustified, but bloodless gun violence was thought to be more appropriate for those 16 and older.
“We were a little surprised,” said Daniel Romer, lead author and research director.
He says violence in popular PG-13 movies has more than doubled since the rating was established back in 1984.
“We know now they’re showing more violence in these movies than R-rated movies. The difference is we think it’s more justifiable,” said Romer.
By sanitizing the effects of violence, Romer believes Hollywood is exploiting the rating system to attract a bigger audience. But, others say it’s up to the parents to use their discretion.
“Would you trust someone to choose for your kid? I wouldn’t,” said Hope Pomerantz of Philadelphia.