New research says that most of the parents believe that media ratings guide them in taking decisions about what type of content they allow their children to be exposed to.
However, although parents appreciate having media ratings systems to help protect their kids from questionable content in movies, video games and television, the current age-based system doesn't meet their needs, according to a new study based on three national surveys led by Iowa State University's Douglas Gentile.
"We have always assumed there was general agreement underlying age-based ratings that a certain type of content is acceptable for child of a certain age," said Gentile, an associate professor of psychology.
"But nobody, to my knowledge, ever attempted to verify that assumption. In this study we directly asked parents what content they care about, would they restrict their kids from viewing it, and at what age do they think it's acceptable for kids to see each type of content.
"The surprising result is that parents do not agree at what age it is acceptable to view different types of content," he added.
The study was recently published in the journal Pediatrics.