Survey Reveals Parents Still Freaked Out by Sex in Movies, Relatively Cool With Murder
In America, a land founded on shameful hypocrisies, it might just be one of the one of the most shameful and hypocritical: when it comes to entertainment, America’s biggest hangups always revolve around nudity and sexuality. Our Puritan forebears would be pleased to see how the current members of the Motion Picture Association of America flinch at the sight of a vulgar breast onscreen and nearly take to their fainting couches in the event of — perish the thought — onscreen female pleasure. It wasn’t too long ago that the MPAA slapped the heartfelt indie romance Blue Valentine with an NC-17 rating, all due to a scene in which Ryan Gosling’s face happens to be in the general vicinity of Michelle Williams’ bathing-suit area while she showers. (It would be later overturned and replaced with an R, but the point stands.)
But a new survey conducted by the Classification and Rating Administration confirms that while parents chew their fingernails over the scandalizing unnaturalness of the human body and the sexual act — a thing the vast majority of people do at least once during their lifetime — they’re still pretty much cool with depictions of violence. The results indicate that 80 percent of parents expressed concern over graphic depictions of sexuality, 72 percent bristle at full male nudity, and 70 percent balk at female nudity. Meanwhile, anxieties over graphic violence clocked in at 64 percent, and horror violence frightens 59 percent of parents. The backwards thinking here is pretty apparent, especially when considering that the exact opposite is true in European markets; across the Atlantic, they get squeamish at the sight of blood, just as a real person might in the real world, and understand the human form to be another universal element of life.
Bad words remain a bugaboo for the CARA as well. As matters currently stand, a PG-13 movie is permitted one deployment of the f-bomb before getting bumped up to an R rating. But a majority of parents feel that even a single solitary utterance of the word should be enough to earn a film the scarlet R — a little more than half (53 percent, to be precise) of all parents polled agreed that the F-bomb appears in PG-13 movies too much. Meanwhile, 59 percent of parents expressed concern over marijuana use in the movies, while 41 percent of parents don’t mind, they lived through the ’70s, hee hee, they’d just rather you did it in the house where you’re safe.