It's no secret to anyone attending the movies regularly that PG-13 doesn't mean what it once did. In the past, this rating would have suggested that a movie had mild adult content at most and wouldn't expose a young teen to anything very extreme. Unfortunately, with Hollywood following a pattern of continually making their movies more violent and full of sexual content, this hasn't held true. Current PG-13 movies are packed with content that could negatively influence young teens and are comparable to the R rated movies of years past. This means that parents must be much more vigilant when monitoring their children's media consumption. You can no longer just look at the rating before approving or disapproving a film, it is important to do research about what is actually in the film.
When Did PG-13 Movies Get So Bad
Over the past 20 years the standards of what should be allowed in a PG-13 movie have continually eroded. It says a lot about our society that we approve of children that are only 13 years old seeing some the content that is regularly included in these films. One of the reasons it is important for parents to be aware of what is going on in these movies is because of the significant body of research that suggests that children's behavior can be influenced by what they observe in movies and on television. Being careful about what movies your son or daughter sees can go a long way towards keeping their behavior on the right track.