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Violence in PG-13 Movie Rating Worse Than R Rating

Updated on November 12, 2013
Sex and the Gun
Sex and the Gun

In a new study, researchers chose 945 films from the 30 top grossing movies each year from 1950 to 2012. The researchers sifted through the films noting violent sequences. Violence not included were scenes not intended to harm anyone (accidents, sport aggression, hunting and the use of RPGs and artillery).

Once completed, the study showed that violence had doubled since 1950 and that violence in PG-13 films had tripled in the last 25 years. Previously, the amount of violence in a PG-13 and G rated film were similar, which means very little. But, since 2009, the PG-13 rating films has a much as R rated movies.

Violence had become part of the movie fabric more than ever, even those based on fantasy books or characters. Because there is so much overlap, in terms of the amount of violence, there is little difference between a PG-13 and R movie rating. Not only is violence common, but sexual scenes, blurring the ratings. It reflects that society is becoming even more perverse in their hunger for all types of violence and sexual activities even for the age 13+ age group. The PG-13 rating was to protect kids of this age from such things and these items could only be seen in an R rated movie. The threshold has lowered in the past 25 years.

Of the violence, it is gun violence that is more often depicted in PG-13 movies than in R rated. The researchers were shocked.

The problems with this is that movies teach kids how to be adults and are highly influenced. The movies make having a gun and using it attractive and exciting in many scenes. I guess the same could be said of sexual innuendo between the ratings. As to violence, a PG-13 movie may depict non-realistic but not extreme nor persistent violence. The R rating allows for persistent and intense violence in films.

The study is a surprise but again, not a surprise. Unless the MPAA changes their definitions about the ratings, it would only be blurred more between the ratings. The only safe ratings are PG or G.


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    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      I recall my daughter has sex ed in 6th grade.

    • petenali profile image


      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I agree with the study and your points here. More disturbing for me is the level of sexual content allowed in a PG-13 movie - but then again, schools are teaching sex ed at ridiculously young ages too.


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