having media rating systems to help them decide what is or isn’t
appropriate for their children, but many feel the current rating
systems are inaccurate and need improvement. In the study, “Parents’ Evaluation of Media Ratings a Decade After the Television Ratings Were Introduced,” in the July 2011 issue of Pediatrics (published
online June 20), three national studies examine what parents really
think of current rating systems, how they use them, and what
improvements they would make. When asked how they felt about the three
major ratings systems (movie, video games and television), parents
said they used movie ratings the most (48 percent), followed by video
game ratings (34 percent) and television ratings (31 percent).
majority of parents thought there should be a universal rating system
for all media, including additional media types such as Web sites and
games, music CDs and games on handheld devices. Parents would also
like to see detailed content ratings and age-based ratings, yet in
this national sample, they did not agree on the ages for which
different content descriptors are appropriate. Study authors concluded
that existing ratings do not cover all the areas parents want, are
not completely accurate, and as a result, are not used regularly.
Improvements in ratings are needed to make them beneficial for
The American Academy of
Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians,
pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists
dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children,
adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.