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To think violence is worse than sex?

(27 Posts)
BalloonSlayer Sun 21-Aug-11 22:19:41

I have been trying to find films that our (just) pre-teen DCs and us can watch as a family. Obviously I don't want things with a lot of sex, violence, swearing etc in.

We already have 2 films that I looked up, for parental content, on IMDB.

One was The Da Vinci Code

the other was Shakespeare in Love

Looking at the parental content advice, which would you think was the 12, and which the 15?

Clearly, no one wants to encourage underage sex, but violence at any age is unacceptable. And sex - done properly - is lovely, while violence is always vile.

How many people in your neighbourhood tonight are getting shot/stabbed/punched? Hopefully none. How many people in your neighbourhood are getting laid? Hopefully lots.

Yes I do get why we [society] seek to protect children under 15 from sex scenes. But, using the same criteria, why do we not protect children aged 12 from sickening violence?

FWIW I lost confidence and we watched neither, and instead watched a 35 year old episode of Fawlty Towers on UK Gold in which both men and women were physically and racially abused by others. confused

I agree. I am always amazed at how we get all shifty about a sex scene (which is a normal part of most adult lives) yet happily let our DC watch violent cartoons etc. that are rated U or PG. Weird.

CailinDana Sun 21-Aug-11 22:23:13

I totally agree. There's nothing wrong with sex in a film as long as it's tastefully shown in context. Sex is something almost everyone will experience in their lives and it's normal and healthy. Violence, especially gratuitous violence, is totally unnecessary and upsetting for younger children.

That said, if I see one more film that has an loooong scene in a strip club that shows strippers for absolutely no reason other than to titillate male viewers I'll scream and smash my tv.

squeakytoy Sun 21-Aug-11 22:24:40

I wouldnt have thought either of those films would appeal to pre-teens. Both are very good films, but not exactly family viewing.

Fatshionista Sun 21-Aug-11 22:26:59

I completely agree. I would rather my children watch tasteful sex scenes than scenes of gratuitous violence or torture porn.

A1980 Sun 21-Aug-11 22:27:00

I agree squeakytoy.

Shakespeare in Love is as dull as shite. Will Shakespeare writes a play and puts it on stage and shock horror has a woman as an actress in it.

The DaVinci Code is also dull as shite: the film consists of people standing around talking us through history.

YouDoTheMath Sun 21-Aug-11 22:27:28

I know, violence pisses me off too.

I seem to be able to "stomach" it less since I've had children.

Plus I saw a TV interview with a couple of criminologists who said that when a violent film proves popular in the box office, the copycats soon start trying to replicate the crimes portrayed in it. I think he used a certain Anthony Hopkins film as an example.


Sidge Sun 21-Aug-11 22:29:18

Apart from the fact they're both pretty duff films that I wouldn't inflict on a pre-teen I agree with you.

I'd far rather my nearly-13 year old saw a tasteful, relevant and appropriately done sex scene than something violent, nasty and dehumanising.

emmam25 Sun 21-Aug-11 22:32:37

I'll be honest, I have always thought this! Having sex is a natural part of being an adult, violence isn't. I am often horrified by the levels of "fantasy" violence which is permitted in a 12A film but a pair of boobs or (heaven forbid) a penis = 18 rating??? My understanding is context is everything but even so...

lubeybooby Sun 21-Aug-11 22:34:34


A1980 Sun 21-Aug-11 22:35:09

But fantasy is the key word emmam. I expect that 12 year olds know it isn't real. Harry Potter is pretty violent but it's fantasy......!

BalloonSlayer Sun 21-Aug-11 22:38:39

"I wouldnt have thought either of those films would appeal to pre-teens. Both are very good films, but not exactly family viewing."

Yeah I know, quite agree. I think I was hoping they'd watch a bit, get bored and sod off to the other room. grin

I just wanted to watch something "grown up" that it wouldn't matter if they wanted to join us. Am sick to the arse of Harry Potter etc.

NotADudeExactly Sun 21-Aug-11 22:41:33

I'm only at the stage of TTC but I couldn't agree more. But then I come from a family that has always been really positive and open towards sex. Not in a 'go and shag anything that crosses your path' kind of way - but in an 'it's inevitable sooner or later, sex in a responsible manner is a nice thing, use a condom' sort of manner.

My MIL is the complete opposite. DH's youngest brothers are now 15 and 17. MIL is convinced they're notbeven remotely interested in girls and claims they don't even masturbate. Because she has brought them up not to consider sex before marriage. Yeah right. However, the most savage films and video games imaginable have never seemed problematic to her. Neither has the idea of her boys regarding beating each other up as a hobby. I guess we're just different, MIL and I.

PS: Would it be wrong to let her find out that DH was not that innocent when I met him, never mind when we got married?

Dragonwoman Mon 22-Aug-11 00:10:18

Mmmm not keen on either really & here's why - sex is a normal part of an adult relationship yes.

But watching other people have sex - which is what you are doing when you watch a sex scene no matter how tasteful - isn't. Before TV/cinema this was a specialist industry that you had to join shady clubs for.

Whereas violence at least in the form of fist fights can be seen often in real life. (Not including ultra violence of course but these types of films are usually an 18 cert). Not to condone real life violence of course but you could argue in this case the film is mirroring real life.

So to me even tasteful sex scenes are degrading in a way because of making the personal & private something to be gawped at. Not to mention the unrealistic body types displayed. Do we all look like hollywood stars in bed?
I think it could give some young people body issues.

littleducks Mon 22-Aug-11 00:20:56

I disagree actually, whilst I would never allow my children to watch really violent films, in fact I choose not to watch anything graphic myself, I would probably prefer them to see some kind of fighting than sex. I agree with the last poster that whilst having sex is part of normal relationships, watching people have sex is not.

I wasnt actually impressed by the nude Hermione/Harry bit in Harry Potter (the one before last) tbh, it seemed unnecesary to me.

ApolausticAardvark Mon 22-Aug-11 00:30:19

yabu to criticise fawlty towers.

maypole1 Mon 22-Aug-11 00:52:05

Me and my pree teen watched a carry on movie today which to be fair was a bit saucy but no nude scenes and really play on words most of which he had to ask me what it ment

But I am always shocked about the ever increasing level of violence some parents find ok

To be honest I still find most pg films are ok for my pree teen and have taken to downloading some old family films eg. Men in black, flight of the nagavgator ,who framed roger rabbit he had not heard of any of these films and every Sunday we make our way through them and he loves them move over 12a when you cabin watch willow good clean family fun yay

BalloonSlayer Mon 22-Aug-11 08:56:55

I hadn't thought about it being "watching people have sex." Hmm, food for thought.

In the films I am referring to, the sex is implied, you don't overtly see it, as far as I remember. If that is voyeurism then you could probably extrapolate that to kissing or any other intimate behaviour, which would mean any romantic film would be a no-no.

I don't agree with this bit: "Whereas violence at least in the form of fist fights can be seen often in real life. (Not including ultra violence of course but these types of films are usually an 18 cert)."

I have never seen a fist fight in real life!

And the point of the thread is that the Da Vinci Code, which appears according to IMDB (I haven't seen it, only read the book) to have some pretty awful scenes of violence and torture is only a 12, whereas Gwyneth Paltrow getting her tits out makes a film a 15.

(My DCs have seen me with my top off plenty of times (BF etc), and if they saw Gwynnie they'd probably say "What's wrong with her breasts? Why are they so high up?")

SuePurblybilt Mon 22-Aug-11 09:08:18

Couldn't agree more.

catgirl1976 Mon 22-Aug-11 09:31:56

Watching people carry out a bank robbery, watching people battle wizards, watching people sink on an ocean liner, watching people hunt a giant shark, watching people look after an alien and help it return to its home planet.

None of these are part of normal everyday life either so I wouldn't worry to much about watching people having sex. Thats what films and plays are - you watch a story bascially. It doesn't mean you would watch in real life. If you watch a hesit film it doesnt mean you are some sort of criminal who would watch crimes play out in real life........

But to answer the OP yes - I think violence is far less acceptable than sex. it is odd and a bit sad that we are far more embarrased by sex than by acts of violence.

Dragonwoman Mon 22-Aug-11 09:53:54

Blimey if you've never seen a fist fight in real life you must stay away from most town centres when the pubs are kicking out! Did kids never fight in the playground at your school? I must have led a more exciting life than I thought blush

BalloonSlayer Mon 22-Aug-11 09:59:29

grin yes I think I have led a sheltered life, Dragonwoman, I do remember fights at primary school but they tended to be pushing, shoving and scuffling rather than punching people in the face. And for secondary I went to a naice girls' school where no one did that sort of thing. < adjusts pearls >

And yes I DO avoid town centres when the pubs are kicking out! Because I think violence is horrible and frightening and I don't want to see any . . . I guess why I don't like it in films either.

GetAwayFromHerYouBitch Mon 22-Aug-11 09:59:47

Another one agreeing with you. A bit of sswearing or sex can tip a film into the 12 or 15 category, but quite graphic violence is allowable in 12A films. Money talks.

Don't get me started on autopsy porn (most involving women), in TV shows such as Luther, Silent Witness, Waking the Dead. I really like this sort of show, but the imagery of torture and postmortems is totally gratuitous and habituates people to it.

BalloonSlayer - unfortunately, a regular number in my are are getting shot or stabbed

GetAwayFromHerYouBitch Mon 22-Aug-11 10:01:08


Also, sorry about the TV rant. Not strictly relevant.

LRDTheFeministDragon Mon 22-Aug-11 10:46:08

But ... am I missing thte point ... most of films show you what you don't see in RL. That's the whole point of fiction. I don't usually know what's going on in someone else's head, nor do I usually see everything from their perspective while sitting on my sofa, nor do I hear music building when my life gets dramatic.

Saying sex on screen isn't realistic because you don't usually watch people having sex is to miss the whole point about suspension of disbelief in any fiction you read or watch. If you think that I don't get how you react to any film.

I reckon when I was 12-15 the idea of watching sex scenes with my parents was cringe-worthy ... I think honestly it doesn't need as much policing as violence for that reason, so it's odd the certificates are that way around.

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