Doing Life Together

ID-100110373Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are considered good parents. But are they too lenient when it comes to letting their children watch movies filled with sex and violence? A new study sheds light on why parents may be too lenient when it comes to allowing children to view sex and violence in films.

The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study with 1000 parents. In the study, parents were shown multiple clips of sex and violence from films. This repeated exposure led to more acceptance of both sex and violence. In other words, parents became desensitized by viewing.

And because parents become more desensitized in these areas, they allow their children more access to this content. This is a problem because when children and adults see repeated sex and violence, they become less empathetic to the suffering of others as well as desensitized. Additionally, other studies note that this repeated exposure leads to more aggressive responses to conflict. And we have some evidence to suggest that desensitization transfers from fiction to real life.

In terms of sexual content, the concern is based in other research that has found that exposure to sexual content may also lead to early sexual initiation.

So parents think twice. Do you really want your children exposed to violence and sex at young ages or repeatedly at any age?

Maybe you aren’t aware that your own viewing of such content is affecting you and relaxing your standards with your kids. Your exposure could be affecting your judgment. So maybe the place to begin is to limit your own viewing.


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