NARRATIVE BUSTER: “The problem may be that social science, especially when it concerns children, sometimes has a hard time keeping cultural agendas out of what are supposed to be scientific papers.”
A new study in the journal Pediatrics that’s getting a lot of mileage in the media laments a disturbing trend of violence in movies. According to a survey conducted by Brad Bushman, a professor of communication and psychology at the Ohio State University, and his colleagues, violence in movies has doubled since 1950, and gun violence in PG-13 films has tripled since 1985 when that ratings designation was first implemented. The authors warn of a direct link between fictional violence and real violent behavior. “We know that movies teach children how adults behave, and they make gun use appear exciting and attractive,” said Dan Romer, a co-author and the director of the Adolescent Communication Institute of the Annenberg Public Policy Center in Pennsylvania.
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