Research: Parents Want a Universal Ratings System for Entertainment

New research, based on three different surveys, finds that parents want a universal ratings system for all media formats. The research, which gathered the responses of 2,300 adults from three different surveys found that most parents were generally satisfied with ratings related to television, movies, video games, music, and handheld devices. Nevertheless, a majority of surveyed felt there should be some sort of universal rating system for all media, including web sites, music CDs, and games played on handheld devices.

Some parents also said that the differences in the ratings systems for different types of media were often inconsistent and confusing, though most complained about television ratings that didn’t properly convey what kinds of content a given program contained.

Researchers say the opinions differed widely depending on whether participants identified themselves as frequent or infrequent churchgoers. Around 15 percent of infrequent churchgoers indicated they would always filter out "sexy commercials," and 6 percent found these commercials inappropriate for all ages. Around 39 percent of frequent churchgoers indicated they would filter out sexy commercials, and 21 percent found them inappropriate for all viewers.

"Our studies revealed that parents not only want changes to the ratings, but that they would support the creation of a universal system," the researchers write. "Given that we are well on the way to digital ‘convergence,’ where one can watch movies, television shows, or video games all on the same device, it seems that the time may be right to begin seriously considering taking this next step to improve media ratings."

The research is published in the July issue of Pediatrics.

It should be noted that the study did not specifically address anything other than Television. Parents seemed to be perturbed with the way TV ratings are inconsistent. Perhaps the ratings system needs to be tweaked to be more accurate. Perhaps it’s a failing of the TV shows that use them.

Source: WebMD

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