Dave Chen over at Slashfilm found this enlightening study that showed that there’s a link between watching R-Rated films and early drinking. The study, which followed 3,600 middle-schoolers over a two-year period, showed that of the children who were allowed to watch R-Rated movies, 19 percent were drinking by the end of the two-year period, compared to 3 percent of those children who were not allowed to watch R-Rated movies. Moreover, of the children who were allowed to watch a lot of R-Rated films, 25 percent were drinkers.
So, watching R-Rated movies leads to drinking, right? Because children exposed to drinking in films will likely pick up the habit?
That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. What I don’t suspect that this study takes into account is other environmental factors. Like, if your parents are the type to allow you to watch R-Rated movies a lot, wouldn’t they be more likely to be the ones who allowed you to drink? Conversely, if your parents were the type who didn’t allow you to watch R-Rated films, wouldn’t they also be the type to crack down harder on drinking? Or maybe kids that like to drink also prefer to watch Final Destination instead of Beauty and the Beast. Pixar’s Cars may not be as appealing as Showgirls when you’re a shit-faced 13-year-old.
But it feels good to blame all our problems on the movies, doesn’t it?