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Science Says: R-Rated Movies May Lead to Early Drinking

by David Lauterbach
2010 April 28

According to a study in the Journal of Studies (on Alcohol and Drugs), children who aren’t allowed to watch R-rated movies are much less likely to start drinking at an early age.

Researchers found that of 3,600 (or 2,400 from some news outlets–because we all just copy-paste) middle-school kids who were allowed to watch R-rated movies whenever they wanted, almost a quarter started drinking alcohol early. Only 3 percent of those poor kids who were never allowed to watch R-rated movies engaged in early onset drinking.

The author of the study said alcohol consumption appears in about 90 percent of R-rated movies, which may be one reason why children who see them are more likely to start drinking at a young age.

This comes on the tail of Buddy Hollis James recently updating our Drinkinest Movies feature to include two more R-rated movies… in fact, I think the only non-R movies in our list are those that were released prior to the MPAA and their controversial rating system.

I personally think that this study leans true, and I have my own report that corroborates this. My Mom and Dad NEVER let me–the oldest of three brothers–see a rated R movie until the MPAA and their stupid rules said it was OK when I turned 17.

And since life is not fair, those same parents that banned me for 17 years immediately had me begin to take my underaged brothers to those same R-type movies I was NOT allowed to see when I was their age. Perhaps they were less concerned about what we saw, and more concerned with not having to sit through the stupid movies that teens wanted to see.

The result? We all drink, but my younger brothers drink more. Thank you Meatballs III and HBO in the 80’s… you made us the men we are today.

Full story at Business Week via Entertainment Weekly.

Pardon us while we pay for beer...


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I think watching your parents and their friends party and have a good time leads to early drinking more than an r rated movie.