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Media Violence

Introduction || Ratings Issues || Video Games
Movies || Television || Additional Resources

Ratings Issues

Recommended Ratings

     Recommended Video Game Ratings Site

  • National Institute on Media and The Family
    This site features KidScore, an innovative and family-friendly ratings system for video and computer games as well as television and movies. The site provides ratings families can trust.

      Recommended Movie Ratings Sites

  • Kids-In-Mind
    Movie critics who are also parents review movies, simply listing all the scenes which parents might want to know about when deciding whether to let children view a particular movie.
  • Movie Mom
    The Movie Mom, Nell Minow, offers her own reviews and has links to several other movie review sites.
  • National Institute on Media and The Family
    This site features KidScore, an innovative and family-friendly ratings system for video, movies as well as computer games and television.


Congressional Testimony

July 25, 2001
Lion & Lamb member Laura Smit testifies before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
"This hearing is intended to consider the need for a universal ratings system... Lets start with the alphabet soup that parents are now required to memorize.   For the movies, we have G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17.  For television, we have: TV-Y, TV-Y7, TV-G, TV-PG, TV14, and TV-MA.  For video games, we have 'E' for Everyone, 'T' for Teen, 'M' for Mature, 'RP' for Rating Pending and AO for Adult Only.  The music industry has a one-size-fits-all 'Parental Advisory.'"

Video Games



Research Studies

  • Content and Ratings of Teen-Rated Video Games by Kevin Haninger; Kimberly M. Thompson in JAMA, February 2004 (abstract).

  • Popular Video Games: Assessing the Amount and Context of Violence by Ken Lachlan, Stacy L. Smith, and Ron Tamborini, a paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Communication Association in Seattle, WA, Nov 9-12, 2000.



  • PG-13 Movies in the Late-Bond Era: The Violence is Far Beyond What it Used to Be  The Washington Post explores how the movie industry is working to get children into PG-13 and R rated movies.
  • The Boston Globe wrote an in-depth June 2002 story on "ratings creep." You can also learn how to spot red flags in movie descriptions and previews to find out if a PG-13 movie should have been rated R; and don't miss an Op-Ed written by Nancy Carlsson-Paige explaining why The Bourne Identity (starring her son, Matt Damon) should be rated R instead of PG-13.
  • Family Film Definition Changing
    The Beacon Journal article from July 19, 2002 questions the usefullness of today's movie ratings system.  According to the article, studios have steadily been adding more sexual innuendos and violence into so-called PG-rated "family films" in order to increase the drawing power of many films.  With fewer and fewer G-rated movies made in recent years, can parents ever be sure that a "family film" is suitable for children?

Research Studies

  • A Validity Test of Movie, Television and Video-Game Ratings by David Walsh, Ph.D. and Douglas Gentile, Ph.D. in Pediatrics, Vol. 107, No. 6, June 2001. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded for free, to view this article.)
  • In Mass Media Violence and Film Ratings, the American Medical Association has listed their current efforts to address the shortcomings in the current movie rating system.
  •  Many G-rated movies also contain a surprising amount of violence, according to a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association. A May 2000 article on, Deceptively Innocent, describes the study as does a May 23, 2000 press release from the Harvard School of Public Health, Violence in G-rated Animated Feature Films.


  • Parents Rate the TV Ratings, by Douglas Gentile Ph.D., National Institute on Media and the Family, May 1, 1998.


Introduction || Ratings Issues || Video Games
Movies || Television || Miscellaneous Interesting Facts

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