A new study shows violence in movies rated PG-13 has more than tripled since 1950, and much of that violence involves guns.
But an expert on movie violence at Texas State University tells 1200 WOAI's Michael Board that there is no real connection betwen scenes of violence in the movies, and the recent spike in gun related crimes, like the mass shootings in Denver and Sandy Hook Connecticut.
"For psychologically well balanced people, it is a form of entertainment," Texas State Professor Tom Grimes said. "It doesn't have anything to do with helping convince people to commit violence."
Researchers studied the thrity top grossing films that were released every year since 1950, and found that overall violence in films has doubled since that time, and gun violence in popular movies has tripled since 1985.
The study authors say 94% of the most popular movies since 1985 have included at elast one scdene that the researchers labeled as 'violent,' and half of those involved a firearm.
"It's a dramatic tool that performers used to engage in the kind of dramatic message that Shakespeare engaged in," Grimes said, pointing out that Shakespeare's plays are filled with sword fights, stabbings, and even beheadings. Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus is a blood soaked gore fest, with more than a dozen of the main characters suffering graphically violent deaths.
The movie researchers found that the violence includes everything from battling space aliens to a gunfight inside a Southern Plantation.
"One of the biggest arguments that these folks made is crime statistics," Grimes said. "You have to remember that rates of violent crime have been going down for years."
IN fact, in 1992, teens aged 12 to 17 had a seious violent crime offending rate of 52 crimes per 1,000 juveniles. By 2011 that number had experienced the most dramatic drop ever, falling to just six crimes per 1,000 juveniles.'