August 23, 2010

Question for you:

This is a general observation I have made among my friends and family:

Why is violence less offensive than s*x?  (preventing strange google searches. . .)

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people condemning this show or that movie for it's illicit content but praise another despite a torrid amount of blood and guts.

I guess what I don't understand is the double standard.  Should death be at least equally offensive?

What are your thoughts?
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21 comments:

Annette Lyon said...

I've pondered this one too. I think the issue has several parts, and I probably touch on only a few below:

1) Violence doesn't evoke the same emotions in the reader that sensual scenes do. Even the huge violent scene in the Matrix was more of a "WHOA!" than making me want to pick up a gun and blow people up. (It could make a person more aggressive in general, but hardly likely to actually recreate the same behavior unless they're already violent people). A bedroom scene, however . . . that can turn viewers on in a very real way.

2) We know it's fake bullets and fake blood. But those actors really are naked.

3) It's easier to create violent situations that are for a justifiable cause. If we were to put the 2,000 stripling warriors' battles into movies, they'd be gory beyond belief, but their cause was just. On the flip side, it's pretty rare for sensual scenes to be "good" in the same sense--how often are they between married couples, for example? (Almost never.)

4) Technically, according to Alma, violence is the lesser sin.

I'm sure there are other reasons. But you're right that violence doesn't mean it's a good movie to be exposing ourselves to.

What I can't figure out is why some people embrace movies that glorify adultery but can't handle non-sensual nudity. I know women who absolutely loved Bridges of Madison County (glorifying a 3-day affair, but I suppose it was "clean") who then were horrified at the necklace scene in Titanic.

I couldn't figure that one out. Whatever you think of the Titanic scene, to me it's well below the "bad" level of 3-day adultery.

But maybe I'm crazy on that. :)

heather said...

Seriously. If I had a dollar for every time I've heard people justify watching an R rated movie because "It's only R because of the violence." I'd be a rich woman.

There totally is a double standard, and probably for the reasons listed above. She makes some good points.

But... the thing is too, a lot of people I know aren't so very bothered by sex scenes in movies, so long as they're done "tastefully" =whatever THAT'S supposed to mean.

Barbaloot said...

Annette makes a pretty good point---or points. I'm still not crazy about violence. I hardly ever can stand to look at the stuff on screen. Too much for me.

Mallory said...

My husband and I are -very- picky about the kind of movies that we will watch, because we are both sensitive to these things. But, I think it depends more on the person when it comes to what is more/less offensive. I tend to not mind brief nudity (like in Robin Hood with Kevin Cosner. Love that movie, but my hubs won't watch it.) My husband is very bothered by that stuff. On the other hand, -I- get very bothered by violence (especially in video games) where my husband doesn't even seem to notice. Basically, we stopped watching most PG-13 movies (other than Harry Potter...:D) after we saw Dark Knight in theater, and left feeling really icky. It bothered us a lot...for the -violence-.

I think Annette has some very good and valid points.

Emily said...

I couldn't agree more, Rachel! Aren't we taught that murder is a worse sin than sex? I can't believe some of the violent garbage that is on TV. I do not think it is okay to take part in television and movies that are all about murder and otherwise morbid violence.

SuzQuez said...

Well, since wise holy writ says sexual immorality is next to murder, I would think that murder is the very worst thing any person on earth could do.

That said, who but the enemy of all of us wants us to accept seeing murder, have no feelings about it, when reality is so drastically different. If you actually saw a loved one shot in front of you how would it be? If you killed someone's beloved mother how would it be?

We can't be coarse. We can't be emotionless about precious life, or the taking of it. How many of us would like to see our children beating up each other as on the screen? But isn't that exactly what they are learning to do?

An inspired booklet called "For the Strength of Youth" has a section on entertainment and the media. It wisely says, "Whatever you read, listen to, or look at has an effect on you. Therefore, choose only entertainment and media that uplift you. Good entertainment will help you to have good thoughts and make righteous choices. It will allow you to enjoy yourself...

"While much entertainment is good, some of it can lead you away from [joyful] living. Offensive material is often found in web sites, concerts, movies, music, videocassettes, DVDs, books, magazines, pictures, [phones], and other media.... Such entertainment [is used] to deceive you by making what is wrong and [bad] look normal and exciting. It can mislead you into thinking that everyone is doing things that are wrong.

[And this next sentence is posted largely on our TV:]

"Do not attend, view, or participate in entertainment that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Do not participate in entertainment that in any way presents immorality [illicit sex] as acceptable.

[Then comes the section about the poison of pornography. Jumping on:]

"Depictions of violence often glamorize vicious behavior. They offend [you] and make you less able to respond to others in a sensitive, caring way. They contradict the...message of love for one another.


"Have the courage to walk out of a movie or video party, turn off a computer or TV, change a radio station, or put down a magazine, [or quickly delete off your phone] if what is being presented does not meet [good] standards. Do these things even if others do not. Let your friends and family know that you are committed to keeping...[high] standards. You [can have] strength...to make good choices."

So, we all, even or especially men should be tender, kind, and loving. The newer movie, "Red" has a sweet grandmother being terribly violent. It makes me sick.

'Nough said. ; )

SuzQuez said...

Well, since wise holy writ says sexual immorality is next to murder, I would think that murder is the very worst thing any person on earth could do.

That said, who but the enemy of all of us wants us to accept seeing murder, have no feelings about it, when reality is so drastically different. If you actually saw a loved one shot in front of you how would it be? If you killed someone's beloved mother how would it be?

We can't be coarse. We can't be emotionless about precious life, or the taking of it. How many of us would like to see our children beating up each other as on the screen? But isn't that exactly what they are learning to do?

An inspired booklet called "For the Strength of Youth" has a section on entertainment and the media. It wisely says, "Whatever you read, listen to, or look at has an effect on you. Therefore, choose only entertainment and media that uplift you. Good entertainment will help you to have good thoughts and make righteous choices. It will allow you to enjoy yourself...

"While much entertainment is good, some of it can lead you away from [joyful] living. Offensive material is often found in web sites, concerts, movies, music, videocassettes, DVDs, books, magazines, pictures, [phones], and other media.... Such entertainment [is used] to deceive you by making what is wrong and [bad] look normal and exciting. It can mislead you into thinking that everyone is doing things that are wrong.

[And this next sentence is posted largely on our TV:]

"Do not attend, view, or participate in entertainment that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Do not participate in entertainment that in any way presents immorality [illicit sex] as acceptable.

[Then comes the section about the poison of pornography. Jumping on:]

"Depictions of violence often glamorize vicious behavior. They offend [you] and make you less able to respond to others in a sensitive, caring way. They contradict the...message of love for one another.


"Have the courage to walk out of a movie or video party, turn off a computer or TV, change a radio station, or put down a magazine, [or quickly delete off your phone] if what is being presented does not meet [good] standards. Do these things even if others do not. Let your friends and family know that you are committed to keeping...[high] standards. You [can have] strength...to make good choices."

So, we all, even or especially men should be tender, kind, and loving. The newer movie, "Red" has a sweet grandmother being terribly violent. It makes me sick.

'Nough said. ; )

SuzQuez said...

[Part I]

Well, since wise holy writ says sexual immorality is next to murder, I would think that murder is the very worst thing any person on earth could do.

That said, who but the enemy of all of us wants us to accept seeing murder, have no feelings about it, when reality is so drastically different. If you actually saw a loved one shot in front of you how would it be? If you killed someone's beloved mother how would it be?

We can't be coarse. We can't be emotionless about precious life, or the taking of it. How many of us would like to see our children beating up each other as on the screen? But isn't that exactly what they are learning to do?

SuzQuez said...

[Part II]

An inspired booklet called "For the Strength of Youth" has a section on entertainment and the media. It wisely says, "Whatever you read, listen to, or look at has an effect on you. Therefore, choose only entertainment and media that uplift you. Good entertainment will help you to have good thoughts and make righteous choices. It will allow you to enjoy yourself...

"While much entertainment is good, some of it can lead you away from [joyful] living. Offensive material is often found in web sites, concerts, movies, music, videocassettes, DVDs, books, magazines, pictures, [phones], and other media.... Such entertainment [is used] to deceive you by making what is wrong and [bad] look normal and exciting. It can mislead you into thinking that everyone is doing things that are wrong.

[And this next sentence is posted largely on our TV:]

"Do not attend, view, or participate in entertainment that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Do not participate in entertainment that in any way presents immorality [illicit sex] as acceptable.

SuzQuez said...

[Part III]

[Then comes the section about the poison of pornography. Jumping on:]

"Depictions of violence often glamorize vicious behavior. They offend [you] and make you less able to respond to others in a sensitive, caring way. They contradict the...message of love for one another.


"Have the courage to walk out of a movie or video party, turn off a computer or TV, change a radio station, or put down a magazine, [or quickly delete off your phone] if what is being presented does not meet [good] standards. Do these things even if others do not. Let your friends and family know that you are committed to keeping...[high] standards. You [can have] strength...to make good choices."

So, we all, even or especially men should be tender, kind, and loving. The newer movie, "Red" has a sweet grandmother being terribly violent. It makes me sick.

'Nough said. ; )

SuzQuez said...

[Sorry my comment posted so many times. It kept say it was too large.]

elizabeth @ twelvecrafts said...

My husband and I have had the same conversation recently. We walked into pizza hut yesterday and the image on the screen while we stood in the waiting area was of a person violently stabbing someone with a spear who then writhed in pain and screamed. I instantly tired to turn my 5 year old away from the screen, but it was too late. She was standing there with a horrified look on her face with tears welling up in her eyes. Why on God's green earth would pizza hut put that kind of movie on at noon on a Sunday? Strangely I looked around the dining area and children were all turned in their seats, eyes glued to the TV while parents sat oblivious. I asked for a table away from the TV or we would leave. They were astonished that I cared. I'm pretty sure the other parents would have cared if two people were half-naked on screen, but not if their children watch murder.

Lara said...

I think we're desensitized, and I think we should think more about it. Murder is worse than sexual sin in God's eyes, and yet we sort of glorify it.

However, I admit to watching murder mysteries and CSI type shows. They're my favorite. I find it fascinating how they catch the bad guys.

Lourie said...

There is an awful lot of violence in television and movies. But I would be more concerned with my daughter's moral compass seeing kids her age on the big screen doing things they shouldn't rather than someone shooting someone.

I watch(ed) 24. Totally violent and utterly absurd at times. She has seen it in passing. Floored at how aggressive they are. But...I would never let her watch Desperate Housewives or Brothers and Sisters simply due to the amount of sexual innuendo.

This a great question!!

Kristina P. said...

My mom was the opposite. Didn't have problem with sex, but really opposed us watching violence.

It explains so much.

Mom and Dad said...

Whether it is the giving or taking a human life, both are sacred in the eyes of our Heavenly Father. This is much less true in the eyes of the world and becoming even less so as society becomes even more "me" and "now" oriented. It's sad to watch and I fear what my grandchildren face in their futures.

Jo said...

Do not watch Eat Pray Love, I walked out of it because the more I watched the angrier I became. About a woman who just doesn't want to be married anymore so she divorces her husband to travel the world and "find" herself.

And yes we are in the new house! Not that we have been able to enjoy it. At least one person has been sick since we moved in...

Amber said...

Research shows many more negative affects of violence versus sex.

That said, I choose to stay away from both. Consider this, whether you are watching a sexual scene or a scene where a guy is getting his head cuts off you will feel the same feelings of adrenaline surge through your veins. Violence is as awful as sex, but is often downplayed because we choose to ignore it. Both are bad. Both are things we should avoid. We are taught to seek after things that are virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy and I believe that is how we should judge all media (including books and video games).

Rather than justify watching a movie that has "only violence" why not skip that movie and find one that will need no justification? Because it's boring.

Anyway. I feel myself coming onto even more of a rant so I will stop right now.

Emmy said...

I really like what Annette said. And considering pornographic sites are the number one search in Utah, I think the sexual stuff might be a little more detrimental.

That Girl said...

Without reading the other comments, and without thinking TOO hard about,and without taking too long ...

I think it's because we're used to it, and because sex is more preached-against. (Does that make sense?) We usually don't hear too much against violence from the pulpit, whereas sex is universally condemned.

Maybe?

Charlotte said...

I think a lot of it is cultural. When my husband was in Norway he said they feel the opposite: greatly offended by violence but could care less about the sexual content.

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