American Parents’ Views on Movie Ratings

June 30, 2023

PSB partnered with the Motion Picture Association on behalf of their Classification and Rating Administration (CARA), which administers the rating system, to develop this insightful piece of research that illuminates utility and efficacy of the MPA’s rating system among American parents. CARA’s goal is to make sure that its ratings framework reflects the views of parents regarding profane language, sex, nudity, violence, drug use, smoking, and other concerning subjects within a movie. To that end, we surveyed 1,500 parents of children aged 5-16, where both parent and child have watched a movie within the last six months either in a theater or in their home.

American parents overwhelmingly believe the Motion Picture Association’s film ratings are accurate and that they help them make better movie choices for their families.

91% of American parents find the ratings and rating descriptors helpful, according to this latest research.. The vast majority (95%) look up information on the ratings when considering a movie for their child to see. About two-thirds of American parents use online sources to find ratings (70%) and movie descriptors (65%). Streaming services and movie trailers or previews are the next top sources for movie rating research.

Movie trailers generally match the movie they precede

Advertising for movies typically occurs through movie trailers or previews. Thus, it is heartening for the MPA to know that 81% of parents say the trailers or previews they have seen in the past 12 months were compatible with the movie they preceded.

What types of movie content are most concerning to parents?

American parents are highly concerned about movies with graphic sexual content, nudity, sexual assault, use of hard drugs, suicide, and use of the “N-word.” When asked to evaluate movie descriptions as a rater would, most parents indicated that movies with that kind of content should receive an R rating.

Download the full report, American Parents’ Views on Movie Ratings

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