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Watching R-Rated Movies May Lead to Early Alcohol Use
Children who aren't allowed to watch R-rated movies are much less likely to start drinking alcohol at an early age, a new study suggests.
Researchers questioned nearly 3,600 middle-school children in New England and followed-up about two years later. In that time, 3 percent of the kids who said their parents never allowed them to watch R-rated movies said they had started drinking alcohol, compared with 19 percent of those who were sometimes allowed to watch R-rated movies and 25 percent of those who said they were allowed to watch such movies "all the time."
The results highlight how important it is for parents to monitor their children's media exposure, said an author of the study.
"We think this is a very important aspect of parenting, and one that is often overlooked." He added that the new findings supplement the work of previous studies that have linked exposure to R-rated movies and shows with adult content to early drinking, early smoking, sex at a young age and violent behavior.
Depictions of alcohol consumption appear in about 90 percent of R-rated movies, which may be one reason why children who see such movies are more likely to start drinking at a young age. Previous studies have also suggested that children who watch R-rated movies become more prone to "sensation seeking" and "risk taking."
Reported by MSN
 
Published: 04/26/2010 
 
Dr. Iverson's Comment
It seems we are becoming much more cavalier about what we allow our children to watch. Television programming today looks a lot different than it did twenty years ago regarding language and adult themes. I feel that many parents are becoming more lenient with adult movies because of this general shift in acceptance in the media.
As a population we may be becoming more lenient, but it doesn’t mean that our children are any more psychologically developed at a young age than they were twenty years ago.  
Children’s bodies and their minds have a developmental timeline. If they are exposed to physical or emotional conditions before they have matured, it can have deleterious side effects, as you have read above.
Try to keep your child a child as long as they possibly can. They grow up too fast as it is. There will be plenty of time for adult themes when they are adults. Remember, it is for their own good.
Be Well~
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