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Study finds parents are desensitized to sex and violence in film

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Casino Royale
Greg Williams

Here’s a new development in the ongoing conversation about sex and violence in movies. The Annenberg Public Policy Center surveyed 1,000 parents and found that when they were shown violent and sexual scenes from films such as 8 Mile, Collateral, Die Hard, and Casino Royale one after another, they became more and more desensitized.

According to Variety, the study, which was published in the Pediatrics journal, showed parents three pairs of movie scenes with violence and sex, and the parents responded with the minimum age that should be allowed to view these types of movies.

When watching the first clip, the parents responded that children should be the average age of 16.9 years old to view violent content and 17.2 years old to view sexual content. As they saw more clips, the respondents said that children should be on average 13.9 years old to view violent films and 14 years old to view films with sexual content.

The study was also concerned with those who rate movies for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), who could be affected by the same leniency as the parents in the study. “People who rate movies for the MPAA, who are themselves parents, could be subject to the same desensitization and thus more likely to be lenient when it comes to evaluating the appropriateness of such content for children,” the study said.

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