3 May 2011
Sex versus Violence
For a century, people have been watching movies and the box office earns tons of money off of films. What makes people go see these films? Many people today watch movies because they love the look and rush of the violence and action, the way Hollywood wants you to see it. You can see violence in almost every movie, even with a “G” rating. However, it is rare to see any type of sexual images in films compared to the amounts of violence. Parents overreact when children see something sexual in a movie, when it is just something natural that people are born with and do. But when we see someone being shot or stabbed in a movie, with blood and guts being splattered, it is another story. The current rating system favors violence over sex; however, media violence is more dangerous for children’s minds than sexual media. Therefore, the movie ratings for violence should be more restrictive than those for sexual media.
At the end of every movie trailer, the audience hears, “Rated PG-13,” but what does that mean? Where do the movie ratings come from? The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) was established in 1922 to help govern which films were appropriate for which audiences. The first rating system, founded by Will Hays, the first President of the MPAA, was called, “The Hays Code.” The code had a strict list of subjects that could not be shown in movies, such as, childbirth, religious criticism, lust, and “suggestive dancing” (“The Movie…”). When the films were being critiqued, they were either categorized as “moral” or “immoral.” The movies that were categorized as “immoral” were not distributed (“The Movie…”). There had to be a better way of categorizing movies so a variety of ages could watch different films that were appropriate for certain ages.
In the 1950s, a handful of films challenged the code, which is what probably inspired Jack Valenti to make a...