You might think PG rated movies are fine to watch for your children, but a recent report shows otherwise. After being shown a 20-minute movie containing guns and violence, researchers established that children become more likely to handle a firearm. Now, they want to make people more aware of the issue, and take better care of what children get to see.
Researchers edited guns out of PG rated movie clips
For this study, researchers analyzed 104 kids aged between 8 and 12, grouped in pairs. Each pair had to watch 20 minutes from the PG rated films National Treasure or The Rocketeer, which were edited either to have guns or not. This means researchers edited some of the scenes not to have guns, but didn’t change the story.
Then, the kids went in a room full of toys, where they were allowed to play with anything they wanted. One drawer in that room contained a modified real gun. The trigger remained functional, but the gun could no longer fire, so the kids weren’t in any danger. From the 52 pairs, 43 of them stumbled upon this gun, and took it out of the drawer.
The children who saw guns were slightly more aggressive
Fourteen pairs of kids thought it might be a bad idea to play with firearms, so they went to the researchers and gave them the gun. However, 22 others regarded it as a toy, and started playing with it. All kids who found the weapon started handling it, but the type of PG rated movie they watched (with or without guns) determined if they decided to pull the trigger or not.
This means that the kids who saw guns in the movie pulled the trigger more often than those who don’t – 2.8 times on average compared to 0.01 times. Also, these kids held the gun for a longer period of time than the others. They exhibited a more aggressive behavior, and proved the presence of weapons in a movie really does influence kids, even though it is PG rated.
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