When was the last time you saw a blockbuster film that didn’t include a gun?
It might be hard to remember. Americans love movies that depict violence, a new study shows; 94% of the most popular movies since 1985 contain at least one violent scene, and half of those involve a gun.
For the study, published this week in the scientific journal Pediatrics, researchers analyzed the 30 top-grossing films every year from 1950 to 2012. They identified violent sequences in each movie and noted whether the scenes included a character carrying a gun with the intention of harming or killing a living target.
Since 1950, violence in films has more than doubled, the study authors concluded. Perhaps more surprising is that gun violence in PG-13 films has tripled since 1985, even exceeding the amount found in R-rated films in more recent years.
Since then, several scientific studies have shown just the opposite. And the American Psychological Association has convened a task force to review the new evidence and potentially update its position.
“The problem is that people are looking for a yes-or-no answer … when there is none,” Brad Bushman, professor of psychology at Ohio State University, wrote in an opinion article for CNN.
Bushman and his colleagues recently conducted a study that showed college students who played violent video games for 20 minutes at a time for three days showed more aggressive behavior each day they played.
Read the whole story: CNN