News Perspectives

Seeing Film Violence May 'Desensitize' Parents

As they watch more violence or sex in movies, parents may be less bothered by it and more likely to let their kids watch, a new study suggests. The study included 1,000 parents of children ages 6 to 17. Researchers asked them to watch 6 movie clips in random order. They included violent or sexual scenes from popular movies rated PG-13 or R. With each clip, parents were asked to pick the youngest age that would be OK for a child to see it. Most parents said the first clip they saw was OK for teens 17 or older. By the last clip, they thought a 14-year-old could see it. Researchers said they had become "desensitized" to violence and sex. Parents also were more willing to let their own children see the movies after viewing more clips. Some parents would let kids see the movies at even younger ages.

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