Rated – R is rated wrong

I’ll assume that most high school students have seen R-rated movies before they were legally supposed to.

As a matter of fact, a survey conducted by the Voyager concludes that 86 percent of students polled watch these movies on a regular basis. 21 percent said they’ve even snuck into an R-rated movie at a theater.

What does this say about our movie rating system in America? It’s basically obsolete.

According to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), a restricted rating could entail any of the following: extensive vulgar language, some sexual nudity, drug use, and intense or persistent violence.

But the major flaw with the MPAA is that censorship of violence is slack while we overcensor “sexual” content.

For example, the movie The Dark Knight Rises is PG-13.  In the infamous “pencil trick” scene, the Joker offers a magic trick to a mob boss and proceeds to slam his head on a pencil.

As he slumps back, viewers realize that the pencil went through his eye, killing him. That’s a little messed up for a middle school kid to be watching.

Another potentially scarring scene is when Harvey Dent is burned in an explosion and turns over in his hospital bed to reveal his badly burned face, gruesome peeks of bone and sinew abound.

Yet the 80’s classic coming-of-age movie The Breakfast Club is rated R. A good chunk of the reasoning behind this rating is because of ‘sexual themes’.

But all of these “sexual themes” are geared toward teenagers anyway. The movie is literally based on high school kids.

In the movie, there is discussion of whether or not a girl has lost her virginity, a few mild sexual jokes, and a very tame kiss scene.

Realistically, controversial conversations and kissing are commonplace for most high school teens, so why are we judging them as inappropriate for anyone under 17?

Meanwhile, we can watch someone get impaled with a pencil. This is just plain backwards.

My suggestion is that we redetermine movie ratings with realistic goals for American teens.

G and PG can be safely left alone, but PG-13 movies should be stricter about the violence that they show, saving all of the gory murder scenes for the R-rated movies, just like all of the steamy sex scenes.

The R-rated movie age should then be changed to 16. Realistically, this is appropriate.

At 16 you should be aware of controversial social topics, you should be forming opinions and making decisions. It’s okay to be aware, so that the freedom of being 18 isn’t a lashing out experience.

This change won’t only make teens less desensitized to violence, but help teens start to view sex as something natural and adult,  not as something terrible and wrong.

Teens are always told to act mature, I think it’s time we treat us like it.