Why is There No Sex in Our Cinematic Violence?
Sex! Let's talk about it! And violence! (In the context of cinema, anyway.) In this informative, fun, and slightly risqué video, CineFix gives a quick history of censorship in the U.S., exposing differences between treatments of sex and violence, and asks why the two are not equal in the eyes of the MPAA.
It's fairly common knowledge that graphic sexual content in a film can become a major stumbling block for many U.S. filmmakers who are looking for less than an NC-17 rating, a rating which is seen as the mark of death in terms of box office success. And anyone who watches a good amount of movies will know, especially those who are familiar with films from many different eras, that sex seems to be, and always has been, punished more severely than violence by the MPAA (or whichever governing entity is in power at the time). So, the question is -- why.
The video below, entitled A$$, ( . )( . ), and GUNS: Censorship in Cinema, doesn't offer any definitive answers, but it does start a conversation about why it's more acceptable to the rating's board to show countless henchmen be shot to death by a machine gun than to show a woman's face while she receives cunnilingis.
The answer to the sex vs. violence in film question can't really be given, because exactly zero ratings board members or representatives from the MPAA have come out to divulge their reasonings behind their decisions. If you've seen the documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated (if you haven't, watch it immediately), you know that the board is a rather clandestine group that whose privacy seems to be top priority. But, we don't necessarily need a direct explanation to form our own theories and learn. There's so much value in studying film censorship on a cultural level; the things censored in film are often things certain groups would want to censor in real life, whether they be exploding heads, graphic language, or homosexual sex. After all, films are great thermostats to measure what gives our society a fever, and for the last 100 years, it has been sex -- in all of its benign, sloppy, or controversial forms.
Why do you think sex and violence are treated differently in cinema? Depictions of sex have continuously become more brazen. Do you think we'll get to a point where sex and violence will be treated the same by the ratings board? Let us know what you think down in the comments.