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Parents Concerned About Media Violence
More cite access to violent media than access to guns as contributing factor

January 10, 2013 By John Eggerton

On the eve of a scheduled meeting between major media trade group heads and Vice President Joe Biden, Common Sense Media and the Center for American Progress released a study in which 77% of parents said kids' access to media violence -- TV shows, movies, video games -- contributes to a culture of violence in the U.S. That is even more than said their access to guns (75%) was a contributing factor.

The study was conducted Jan. 4 and 5 among 1,050 parents of children under 18. The margin of error is plus or minus 1.7%.

The study also found that 88% of parents don't want ads for violent games, TV shows and movies to air during programs watched by large numbers of children. Common Sense has been pushing the networks not to air such ads in sports broadcasts, for example.

"Parents are clearly concerned about how violence in media may be impacting their children," said Common Sense Media CEO James Steyer. "Our culture of violence seems to have made it the new normal that parents who take their kids to a movie theater or gather to watch a football game are at risk of exposing them to inappropriate content that is marketing video games or films rated for more mature audiences."

Among the many contributing factors to real world violence identified by the parents polled were bullying (92%) and access to guns (75%).

Among the other findings were that a majority of the parents said addressing violence will require action on both media violence and kids access to weapons and that a majority say the media industry "has the power to help change "the culture of violence" in the country.

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