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The Evils of Sex and Violence in Cinema

Have you ever counted the number of acts of violence in an action thriller? How about actual acts of murder? For the sake of realism, scenes depicting the death and mutilation of other human beings have now become just about as graphic as being there in person; the only thing missing is the stench of death. And yet, films depicting graphic displays of mutual affection are censored right out of the theaters. In our society, we’ve become casual about being exposed to hatred, barbarism, and the disrespect of human life, and yet continue to encourage intolerance of any depiction of human sexuality that "shows too much".

Consider the levels of violence versus sexuality, and what is considered permissible: In an R-rated film, the depiction of a person being shot with a gun can be very graphic; the film can show the bullet piercing flesh, tearing through the victim’s body, and blowing a hole out the other side. Often this is even shown in slow motion to accentuate the effect. Heads and limbs can be severed in graphic detail, as in slasher and gore films. We flock to these films and consider them most entertaining. Films depicting scenes of sexual contact of a graphic nature, not depicting actual penetration, not even displaying full nudity, are threatened with a restrictive NC-17 rating, and many theaters refuse to even show them. Even though the characters in these films may be expressing love and adoration toward each other, films of this nature are discouraged while the blood and gore of hatred and intolerance flourishes in the motion picture market.

The average person most likely will go through their entire life and not witness the brutal murder of a human being by another human being (and the majority of those who have witnessed such things have experienced some degree of emotional trauma as a result of it). And yet, most of us will, within our lives, experience at least one loving relationship that includes sexual contact. So which of these two "evils" is really based in reality? Somehow our society has decided to place greater value in the display of hatred than in expressions of love, regardless of which of the two is more common in our lives, and more importantly, regardless of which is a more positive influence. I often hear the argument that sex is a very private thing, and should be kept private. Does that mean the death, dismemberment, and disregard of the sanctity of life is a public thing, and should be displayed as such? It would appear that in fifty thousand years we have not evolved emotionally at all.