Study: Media ratings don’t give enough detail

Between 41 percent and 46 percent of parents feel age-based ratings for television shows, video games and movies are “usually accurate,” while only about 5 percent said the ratings are “always” accurate, a study from Iowa State University published by the American Academy of Pediatrics has found.

Parents usually do not agree on what types of content are appropriate for children at different ages, and many would rather obtain more information on the content in order to decide for themselves what is appropriate, according to the report, “Parents’ Evaluation of Media Ratings a Decade After Television Ratings Were Introduced,” which surveyed almost 2,300 U.S. parents, Reuters Health reported.

Currently, different media are rated differently, with TV and video game ratings being newer than movie ratings.

Television ratings, for example, include “TV-G” (suitable for general audiences) or “TV-MA” (for mature audiences only), among others. They also describe the content with indicators like “V” for violence.

Video games, meanwhile, have a different system. For example, “E” (for everyone) is the equivalent of TV’s “TV-MA.”

However, although the ratings system doesn’t give parents enough details, there’s not a perfect way to rate content, said the report’s principal author.

“There’s no consensus,” Douglas Gentile, associate professor of psychology at Iowa State, told the Omaha World-Herald. “No matter what age label we put on anything, at least half the parents are going to disagree. It means age-based ratings are, by necessity, invalid.”

Image: TV Guidelines

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