Violence and Sex in Movies Dumb Parents Down
Almost exactly a year ago, US scientists published a study that analyzed the usage of weapons in films and delivered some interesting results. Now, the researchers have another study ready in which they investigated how parents are influenced in their judgment what films their children should be allowed to watch when the parents themselves are often confronted with sex and violence in films. The study, conducted among 1000 participants, found clues that parents who dealt with considerable amounts of said contents, were desensitized and therefore not so strict when it came to the contents they allowed their children to consume.
An often imminent reflex has been for years to think of the PG-13 rating as something that is made for children. Oftentimes, topics that sound like they have to be "R" are pressed into a PG-13 blueprint, sometimes with the help of censorship, in order to attract a bigger audience. But it's getting more and more common that the boundaries of what's possible are stretched to the maximum, as The Hunger Games shows quite vividly.
The American ratings board MPAA argues that it tries to adjust to today's viewing standards, hence explaining their increasing tolerance in some cases. And when parents (who often enough protest loudly against things they deem too much, e.g. Family Guy) don't view violence and sex as seriously as they did in the past, the MPAA's decisions can be affected by that. But the study has yet another interpretation. Since the members of the ratings board are exposed to so many movies, it's quite possible that they are also desensitized and don't show the appropriate sensibility that would be required in order to apply the right ratings.