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Int J Drug Policy. 2014 Mar;25(2):267-75. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2013.09.004. Epub 2013 Sep 19.

Are movies with tobacco, alcohol, drugs, sex, and violence rated for youth? A comparison of rating systems in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States.

Author information

1
Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, SC, USA; Department of Tobacco Research, Center for Population Health Research, National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Mexico. Electronic address: thrasher@sc.edu.
2
Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Geiser School of Medicine at Dartmouth, NH, USA.
3
Instituto Nacional de Cancer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
4
Programa de Medicina Interna General, Hospital de Clinicas, University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
5
Department of Tobacco Research, Center for Population Health Research, National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Mexico; Department of Epidemiology, University of Michigan, MI, USA.
6
Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of South Carolina, SC, USA.
7
Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, SC, USA.
8
Department of Tobacco Research, Center for Population Health Research, National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Mexico.
9
Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of South Carolina, SC, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This study aimed to determine between-country differences and changes over time in the portrayal of youth risk behaviors in films rated for youth in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and the United States.

METHODS:

Content and ratings were analyzed for 362 films that were popular across all four countries from 2002 to 2009. Country-specific ratings were classified as either youth or adult, and Generalized Estimating Equations were used to determine between-country differences in the presence of tobacco, alcohol, drugs, sexual content, and violence in youth-rated films. Within-country differences in this content over time were also assessed, comparing films released from 2002 to 2005 with those released from 2006 to 2009.

RESULTS:

In the US, films rated for youth were less likely to contain all five risk behaviors than in youth-rated films in Argentina, Brazil, and, when the "15 and older" rating was considered a youth rating, in Mexico. All three Latin American countries "downrated" films that received an adult rating in the US. Nevertheless, tobacco and drug use in youth-rated films declined over time in all countries, whereas moderate to extreme alcohol use and violence involving children or youth increased in all countries.

CONCLUSIONS:

Tobacco and drug use have declined in popular US films, but these behaviors are still prevalent in films rated for youth across the Americas. The apparent success of advocacy efforts to reduce tobacco and other drugs in films suggests that similar efforts be directed to reduce alcohol portrayals.

KEYWORDS:

Cinema; Movie rating systems; Policy; Risk behaviors; Youth

PMID:
24316001
PMCID:
PMC4011135
DOI:
10.1016/j.drugpo.2013.09.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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