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PG-13 Movies Have More Gun Violence than R-Rated Films

A new study conducted by teams at Ohio State University and the Annenberg Public Policy Center has found that in major blockbusters, gun violence is more common in movies rated PG-13 than movies that are rated R. The researchers looked at the 30 highest grossing films for each year from 1950 through 2012, and founded that since 1985, the amount of gun violence in films rated PG-13 has been rising “considerably.” And while MPAA standards on issues like the use of profanity, nudity and sexual content are relatively clearly defined, acceptable levels of violence and gunplay in films marketed to teens is an area that is often not as obvious.

Researchers have even suggested that there could be a link to exposure to gun-related entertainment and actual acts of aggression, because of a phenomenon known as the “weapons effect.” In their research, they said, “By including guns in violent scenes, film producers may be strengthening the weapons effect and providing youth with scripts for using guns.” Evidently, blockbuster filmmakers have just run out of original ideas and are now simply employing the Michael Scott philosophy of screenwriting …

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