They Just Can’t Go On Anymore, Cinematically
The number of explicit and graphic depictions of suicides in movies tripled between 1950 and 2006, which coincided with a jump in teen suicide rates, according to a study published in the Archives of Suicide Research. The report by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania also found that there was no difference between PG-13 and R-rated movies’ explicit portrayals of suicides.
The AP/Washington Post reports:
Lead author Patrick E. Jamieson said that although it’s impossible to establish a causal connection, the tripling of U.S. teen suicide since 1960 has coincided with the increase in movie suicide portrayals. The results, based on an analysis of 855 top-grossing films and released Tuesday, indicate the need for further study of the effects of movie suicides on adolescent audiences, the authors concluded.
“We know as well that exposure to movie-portrayed suicide correlates with thinking that one cannot get effective treatment for mental health problems,” Jamieson said. “There is something seriously wrong with a movie ratings system that attaches a PG-13 rating to a movie containing explicit, graphic modeling of suicide.”
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