Anonymous asked in Pregnancy & ParentingAdolescent · 1 decade ago

Why do some parents desperately try to shield their children/teens from seeing 'R' rated films?

Honestly, I was reading some questions on here that were just ridiculous. For instance, a mother was trying to keep her 17 year old daughter away from rated R films. C'mon! That's just over the top.

I never was restricted from watching rated R material and I came out fine! Scarface, The Godfather trilogy, and action flicks were things I had no problem watching. My parents, however, did in fact tell me that everything in these films were fake that it's just story telling. Since then, that's what I've taken it as! I'm 19 and I've never had one problem with rated R films. Hell, when I was 13 I remember watching a film with a sex scene and my dad gave me a quick 'sex talk' right there. There was no need to make a big deal about it, he just told me the facts.

Parents today are so over protective and so concerned with shielding there children from explicit material that it just makes me laugh. A bus full of middle school children just pulled up across the street and all of them were cussing like it was nothing. Believe me, your kids know what sex is, what swearing is, etc.

Why not tell them about these things NOW? Tell them it's wrong to do drugs etc. but don't shield them from rated R movies or explicit music. You make it seem as if these problems don't exist. It's also statistically proven that children with more over protective parents act crazier as soon as they are on there own. Why? Because you've kept them under your roof so long! They finally have had their taste of freedom and they go wild.

My opinion is that parents need to tackle these issues head on with their children instead of trying to hide it from them. I understand you might want to keep Scarface away from a nine year old, but as soon as he's 13 it seriously wont matter.

Do you keep your children away from Rated R films or explicit music, if so why?


I actually should clarify. When I mean your children, I actually mean your teens or pre-teens. Maybe 12+

26 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    i'm 16 and turing 17 in June, and it sucks because my mom STILL won't let me see an R-rated movie. i have to borrow them from my friends and watch them in secret or try to watch parts of them online when they're not home. and i hate doing that. i'm not sure why my mom won't let me see one, i'm mature enough and i know that everything is fake, like Sweeney Todd, i got that from my friend (who's a mormon) and her parents allowed her to see it, in fact they took her and her younger brother to see it, she was 15 and he was 12 at the time, but yet my mom still won't let me. and we're close friends with our neighbors, they have a 15 year old daughter who's been watching r rated movies since she was 12, but my mom is still stubborn. and i really hate it, i think she's a control freak because she just yelled at me because i didn't want to get in the shower right now because my sister got out at 8:17 and it's 8:23 as i'm writing this. sigh... i can't wait till my birthday, it's in less than 3 months, i want her to stop being on my *** all the time ( she still won't let me watch shows like family guy and american dad which i love, so i also have to watch those in secret, even though i am over the age of 14, and family guy and american dad are rated TV-14, she says you don't get to pick and choose which laws, yes she thinks ratings are a law, you get to follow, but when i record those shows she gets really mad, even though i'm over 14 years old and i think since i'm a junior in high school i should be able to pick what shows i get to watch)

    Source(s): it sucks when you have an over protective parent, but i know that by the time my younger sister gets to be my age she won't care about it anymore
  • 1 decade ago

    I agree with you. Some parents are overprotective, and I think it is wrong. Do they honestly think that if the teens want to watch something, they won't find a way to watch it? That's lame. I think teens should be educated not only about how films are a fake and that it is generally a made-up story (except for films like Titanic- everyone has to watch Titanic at a certain time- the atmosphere was captured very well in the film), but teens need sex ed and they also have to be educated about violence and mobbing and diseases- all of this can be found in films. Why not show them something made up than waiting until they are confronted with these things in reality? it can also make people more aware about a topic when they see a film about a touchy topic, from a victim character's point of view- like emotional or physical abuse.

    And to the people on here saying that there are parents trying to protect their children: I'm sure you have good intentions, but just watching films won't "f*c*k" with a child's head, Give em some credit.

    Things like over restriction and control will though, believe me, I would know.

  • 1 decade ago

    It depends on the film, the teenager, and the parent.

    The first thing that we need to consider is that the film industry, which is not well-known for being conservative and has kept pushing the ratings further and further, is the entity saying "What's in this movie would be inappropriate for children under 17 to watch without a parent being there to explain things to them" which, I think, is a sentiment that a lot of the people answering this question share. The entire point of the R rating is that whether or not the specific movie is appropriate for any 'child' is the parents' decision.

    Also, there's the 'ratings slide', where edgier and edgier films get into the same rating category. Before the PG-13 rating was invented in the early 80's after one of the Indiana Jones films, there was nothing betweeen PG and R, so many formerly R-rated films from the 60's and 70's would easily get PG-13 today. Also, there's another thing - 15 years ago, the third Pirates of the Caribbean or third Lord of the Rings movies would have got R ratings, and Watchmen would have got NC-17, but due to the 'ratings slump' those movies got PG-13's and R.

    Another thing is a child knowing about something versus them seeing it for entertainment purposes. What about some recent R-rated movies, where a 13-year-old might know it's possible to bite someone's ear off, or use a power saw to cut someone's hands off, or pour boiling oil over someone's head, or shove someone's head into a wood-chipper, or use a microwave to 'explode' a paralysed man's brain, but does it truly benefit them to see such things on film? At the very least, does it really somehow harm them to not see such things? It's not much in the way of 'exposure to the real world', because most people who don't work in morgues won't ever see such things in their lives. The R-rated films you watched as a child, or at least the ones you mentioned, were mostly downright tame compared to what's being made today. Again, some R-rated films I do believe are not very inappropriate for a 13-year-old, but some I believe are highly inappropriate (see above).

    And, your anecdote about the bus full of 13-year-olds only serves to prove my point - if they're exposed to so much swearing, talk about sex, perhaps actually having sex or seeing peers do it, etc, in their lives, why do they need to see it in movies? What oh-so-essential parts of the 'real world' do these movies contain that 'real life' doesn't? The same can go for explicit music - if these children know about sex already, what vital information do such songs contain that they wouldn't be exposed to otherwise?

    In short, while it may not make much sense to shelter a child who's already aware of certain things from explicit material containing those things, it's definitely not going to harm them if they're either already aware of said things or will get plenty of exposure to them in the normal high school or middle school experience... so, in the end, I basically agree with the MPAA - not all R-rated movies/explicit material are suitable for teens of all ages, so they should not be outright prohibited from viewing such material, but the decision should be left up to their parents.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I am a teenager but if I was a parent I would let them watch PG-13 movies but not rated R movies until middle school. Personally, violent movies got to my head alot and although I knew the movies were fake alot of things that goes on in the movies like killing and violence ARE real. I used to be a huge fan of blood and gore, scary movies, etc but now I get nauseas watching them. And the movies they make keep getting more and more violent.

    Anyways, I think alot of PG-13 movies are pretty violent and should be rated R, but middle school would be a good age to let them see rated R movies because that's when they're old enough to go out to the movies with their friends and it would be worth the wait.

    BUT, I wouldn't restrict them for not seeing any rated R films until ''of age'' because I've seen plenty of R films that are incredibly well done and some that aren't scary or aren't all that bad, so it really depends on the movie.

    As for explicit music, I don't think it's that big of a deal, unless all they're doing is listening to crap about pimping and whoring and doing drugs, etc.

    Source(s): 16 y/o
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  • 1 decade ago

    Well I'd rather my daughter hear about sex, drugs, and everything else from me early on. And she will. I don't need glamorous sex portrayed in some sleazy film making it look like that's the thing to do, w/ no consequences. I'm not saying I would never let my daughter watch R rated films but it wouldn't be often and not to terribly young. I just think some of the violence even that they show in movies now a days are so extreme it might f*ck w/ a child's head.

    By the you have children? Because I'm guessing no.

    You may feel different when you do.

  • 1 decade ago

    I agree that when kids get to around 13 they can handle a lot more than many parents often think. I remember when I was around that age (when dinosaurs roamed the Earth to some Y!A members) I knew a LOT more about things than I let on to family members. I wrote some stories that I kept hidden away from everyone when I was even younger that would raise eyebrows and make people uncomfortable that are probably worse than a lot of things parents want to keep away from kids. More for disturbing content than anything. Some R-rated films are probably milder than the gory, taboo, macabre stories I wrote as a preteen (age 9-12).

    I do think that little kids need shielded from some realities, however, why completely destroy the innocence of youth when they really are little kids? For example, you don't show a six year old a video of a guy shooting himself in the head or play the audio recording of the Jonestown massacre. Let them believe in fairies and unicorns and elves and Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and all that when they're really young (under age 7). But at the same time, traditionally we didn't hide reality from children, infact we forced it upon them at a young age with fairy tales and nursery rhymes to teach them life lessons. The same stories with the fairies and gnomes and all that would teach children important facts about how to survive in the world. Traditional Disney movies from long ago also played this role. Here's a quote from the great Walt Disney himself.

    "I don't believe in playing down to children, either in life or in motion pictures. I didn't treat my own youngsters like fragile flowers, and I think no parent should. Children are people, and they should have to reach to learn about things, to understand things, just as adults have to reach if they want to grow in mental stature. Life is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be untruthful, insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows. Most things are good, and they are the strongest things; but there are evil things too, and you are not doing a child a favor by trying to shield him from reality. The important thing is to teach a child that good can always triumph over evil, and that is what our pictures attempt to do."

  • 1 decade ago

    I 100% agree. My parents didn't shield me from movies and music and they explained to me the difference between fiction and reality. I've watched R-rated movies since as long as I can remember. Much of the adult stuff went over my head anyway and if I asked something, they'd explain it to me in an age-appropriate manner.

    Parents are doing their kids a huge disservice by coddling and sheltering them. There's nothing wrong with having rules and responsibilities, but don't cross the line.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm 14 years old and my parents aren't OVERLY strict but they will not let me do certain things.

    One thing they will not let me do is watch R rated movies. They say that its innapropriate and they wont even DISCUSS letting me see one. At 13 i could watch pg-13 movies as long as they wern't rated for sexual reasons.

    The thing I find SO wierd is that my parents allow me to watch almost ANY unrated film. And usually unrated is worse than R! I dont understand that at ALL.

    As for music they dont really care as long as they dont have to listen to it. If im buying a band shirt or something however, they make sure its not like just a bunch of cussing.

    Id really like to see R movies because all of my friends can. :/

  • 1 decade ago

    I agree with you. Most of those movies aren't that bad. My parents never let me watch R rated movies, so when I watched one at my friends house, I realized that it was kind of pointless to "shield" me from them. I understood that they're movies,and most of the stuff in them wouldn't happen in real life. I think that if parents teach their kids that they can't go around being violent,swearing and having sex with people like they do in the movies, then it's fine.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I totally agree. =]


    I saw an R-rated movie when I was like, 10.

    And it was only rated R because it had some nudity in it. and it was totally non-sexual too.

    It's just a body. There's nothing wrong with it.

    and all the violence is totally fake anyway, and as long as the kid knows that (as they should...) then its fine.

    if the parent has a huge problem with it they can cover their childs eyes.

    but i think teens should be able to see almost everything.

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