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Repeated viewing of violence and sex 'desensitises' parents
Tuesday October 21, 2014 9:36 AM, IANS

In a stunning report, researchers have revealed that when it comes to sex and violence, the more parents watch TV shows or movies with explicit scenes, the less they care about what their kids can watch.

Researchers from the Annenberg Public Policy Centre at the University of Pennsylvania showed 1,000 parents six different film clips from movies rated R and PG (parental guidance) such as "Terminator", "8 Mile" and "Taken 2".

After each scene which either showed violent or sexual conduct, they asked the parents what age a child should be before watching the particular movie.

The team found that parents became 'desensitised' as the violence grew and sexual activity increased.

"The rise of violence in movies with parental guidance means that lots of kids are able to go into movie theatres and see explicit violence," said Dan Romer, associate director of the Annenberg Public Policy Centre.

After viewing the first movie clip, respondents thought the minimum age to see a movie with that kind of violent content should be 16.9 years on average and 17.2 years old for sexual content.

After watching the sixth and final scene, parents grew more lenient, deeming 13.9 years acceptable for violent films and 14 years for sexual ones, researchers noted.

"If they (parents) see violence or if they see sex, they are more accepting of any kind of objectionable or upsetting content," Romer concluded.

The findings, reported by the website Variety, are to be published in the journal Pediatrics.

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