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Gun Violence In Hollywood PG-13 Movies Continues To Rise; What Are The Effects Of Violent Media?

Update Date: Jan 23, 2017 09:20 AM EST

A new analysis of movies in Hollywood revealed that gun violence continues to rise even with PG-13 rated films. Experts said that watching violent media can cause aggressive but not violent behaviour.

The analysis, led by researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) of the University of Pennsylvania, showed gun violence in PG-13 top grosser movies have begun to exceed in R-rated movies in 2012. The current research has already included movies from 2013 to 2015.

Dan Romer, research director of APPC and lead author of the analysis, expected that gun violence detected in 2012 would have stalled or even reversed. However, the number of Hollywood movies loaded with violence is becoming more popular.

The differences between gun violence in PG-13 and in R-rated movies are the frequency and the absence of consequences like blood and suffering. Violence in the former category is usually perpetrated by a superhero or anti-hero like Avengers, Batman or the X-Men.

The Motion Picture Association of American (MPAA) thinks that gun violence committed by a superhero is less realistic and brutal compared to a violent scene in an R-rated movie. Bloodless violence is also common in PG-13 movies such as "Suicide Squad."

Douglas A. Gentile, a professor of Psychology at Iowa State University, describes violence in PG-13 Hollywood films as sanitized version. The victims in the movies do not scream in pain for hours, and even the reaction of the family as a result of the act is not highlighted.

Gentile believes that showing more blood and more pain of the victim reduces aggression. The viewer will start feeling sympathy for the victim and realize how horrible gun violence is.

Dr. David L. Hill, chairperson of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Council on Communications and Media, believes that watching violent media cannot lead to violent behaviour, but can encourage an aggressive stance. Children watching gun violence in movies may expect that aggression is acceptable.

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