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For many, movie ratings can be a constant source of scrutiny and debate and frustrated hair pulling. While films with over the top violence and body counts that number in the hundreds pour into theaters with PG-13 ratings, those with even just a hint of sex feel like they’re almost automatically slapped with a more restrictive R rating, slashing their money making prospects. This is puzzling for a lot of film fans, but according to a new survey, sex in movies is by far a much larger concern for American parents than gratuitous or even realistic violence.
As part of the 2015 Parents Ratings Advisory Study, which was a survey commissioned by the Classification & Rating Administration, THR reports that parents care way more about cinematic sex than movie violence. According to the results, 80% of parents are the most concerned about whether or not their children may see graphic sex scenes in a movie than if they see people murdered or blown up or otherwise killed. Graphic violence, by comparison, only clocks in at 64%, barely even breaking the top five, and only two percent ahead of the F-bomb (62%).
Second on the list of concerns, at 72% is full male nudity, followed by hard drug use at 70% (for context, marijuana, which is legal in multiple states now, is only a concern to 59% of parents) and full female nudity, also at 70%. Wangs are apparently more worrisome than boobs.
Of the top twelve concerns listed in the article, seven of them are sexual in nature (although in certain situations, you can probably throw the F-word into the sex category as well). These include non-graphic sex scenes, suggestive sexual innuendo, partial nudity, and brief nudity.
All in all, this seems to fall in line with the way movies are currently rated when they hit theaters. As long as there isn’t much blood, you don’t linger on gaping bullet wounds, and there’s not an excessive amount of cursing involved, you can get away with showing damn near any sort of violence in a PG-13 movie. In fact, according to the study, 53% of parents think the F-word appears to frequently in PG-13 movies, while only 44% have an issue with the amount of violence in movies with the same rating. Apparently dirty words are significantly more troubling than dead bodies.
But add sex to the mix, or in many cases all it takes is the mere the idea or a discussion of sex, and filmmakers should probably prepare themselves to be saddled with a rated-R motion picture or be willing to make some cuts and changes.