Violent Versus Sexual Films

Violent Versus Sexual Films

Many of my friends and family may disagree with me here—what else is new!—but I’m extremely more against violent films, when it comes to children, rather than sexual films. I’m much more comfortable with, say, the big-breasted tree in The Last Unicorn than I am with the scene where the vulture eats Mama Fortuna (or whatever her name is). Many of my friends, however, don’t mind violent scenes so long as sexuality stays out of a picture.

While I’ll agree that sexual overtones shouldn’t be included in children’s movies—such as those in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, for example—mere sexuality itself is a natural thing that children are going to experience whether or not they see a film. Breasts are something that every female has (every male, too, technically) and they’re not a “sin” or something to be ashamed of; instead, they give life to babies, nurturing them from birth throughout infancy.

Violence, on the other hand, from killing scenes (such as in the admittedly cool movie The Legend of the Guardians) to guns in cartoons (Disney is famous for that crap), is not a natural thing; in fact, exposure to it has led every child I’ve ever seen to become more violent. My own daughter started talking about guns and pretending to use one after she saw The Princess and the Frog (where guns are featured in two scenes—one quite prominently) and I’ve had a hard time getting her to stop ever since.

I’ve also seen that our culture seems to think that violence is okay while sexuality is not. Plenty of shooting ranges and outdoor education courses—even in schools—offer hunter certification and shooting classes for children as young as twelve. Though I had a friend in high school who was a brilliant trap-shooter, plenty of students take these shooting skills in a darker direction. On the other hand, we keep knowledge about safe sex and children’s’ developing bodies away from them, and then we’re shocked when young teens get pregnant. Doesn’t anyone else see anything wrong with this set-up?

I will definitely take my daughter to see a film that includes wolves howling in the moonlight together and making vague references to mating (which she isn’t going to understand for a while, anyway—and when she asks, it’ll be as natural as explaining that wolves make babies just like humans do, which she’ll be content with) rather than something dark and scary like the latest Harry Potter, which includes lots of death and violence—though I know we’re going to see lots of kids who are way too young to be there in the theater with us this fall.