Editorial: Are Adults Censoring the Wrong Things?

Have you gotten “the stork” as an answer when asking your parents the question, “Where do babies come from?” Ever since you were born, your parents have felt the need to censor as much of your life as possible. Don’t bother denying that your parents have tried to keep something away from you out of fear of you becoming a delinquent. While parents will stop at nothing to censor sex and profanity, let’s ask the question: are parents censoring the right things?

While it does make sense to censor things like sex and profanity, it does feel like parents try to protect children from these “obscenities” much longer than needed. Children are eventually going to say the F-word at least once in their lifetime, but the task shouldn’t be to keep children away from it. It should be to educate children on why not to say those words. Same goes for sex. If you tell your kid that a baby comes from a stork, all it’s going to do is make him or her dumber than the kid who knows about the birds and the bees.

It also seems that parents will censor sex and profanity, yet they seem to be completely fine exposing their children to violence, racism, homophobia, sexism, and many other subjects that can inflict mental and physical harm. Why are parents okay with their kids saying sexist things at the age of five (“eww, boys have cooties” or “you throw like a girl” or “pink is a girl’s color”)? But saying a curse word is parents’ worst nightmare. Parents need to stop living in the past and start talking to their children about these issues rather than shutting them off.

Parents aren’t the only ones guilty of censoring children on a daily basis. The people in charge of the rating system clearly don’t know what they’re doing anymore. Before, movies had four ratings: G (suitable for all ages), PG (some material not suitable for children), R (not suitable for children), and NC-17 (strictly prohibited for anyone under 17).  Movies like Star Wars and Indiana Jones are both good examples of what PG movies used to represent.

Ever since PG-13 became a rating, no one seems to understand what’s ok for kids and what’s not. Anything rated G became exclusively for kids, PG became mostly for kids with some exceptions, and R became 60% immature and vulgar adult comedies and 40% extreme violence. PG-13 movies started becoming some of the most violent types in the cinema industry, while R rated movies were mostly just comedys with the quality of an Adam Sandler movie. It almost seems like PG-13  was only made as a marketing ploy to apeal to the “edgy teen crowd”. If you want to learn more about this subject, check out this article:

Many horror movies are now rated PG-13, suggesting this is somewhat ok for children to see. Despite that, it’s suggested that R rated movies aren’t ok for children because they contain sexuality and “rude humor.”  And while sex is a strong topic, especially for kids, it shouldn’t be something that is quote-on-quote, “restricted”. Consider that the 2015 remake of the classic horror film Poltergeist is rated PG-13, while the romantic movie Love Is Strange is rated R for having a gay couple as the main focus. There are movies that make sense to be rated R like It and Deadpool, but not enough to make the rating system feel relevant and up to date.

Society needs to realize that children should be treated with the respect, and trust them enough to talk about and deal with these topics. If adults would simply talk to children and make them aware and informed, that will benefit kids. We hope this has given some insight on what should be censored and what shouldn’t.

“And remember kids: TV violence is fine as long as you don’t show a nipple.”
—The Simpsons

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