People must rethink what our culture accepts

Sofia Sant’Anna-Skites, Opinion Editor

The stigma of sexual content in movies is prevalent in our society, yet you probably don’t show concern about movies that reveal graphic scenes of people blasting each other’s heads off.

The disparity between action films and romantic films is part a significant problem we have created in the US. Violent movies receiving gentler ratings creates a national normalization of brutality, whereas we regard movies containing sex, a completely natural part of life, as obscene. Furthermore, as Halloween nears, we prepare to watch horror movies that are sure leave us deeply unsettled.

According to Rotten Tomatoes, the current most popular movies in theaters (released Oct. 21) include Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Keeping Up with the Joneses and Ouija: Origin of Evil. The first two are action movies that contain guns on the movie posters. The last is a horror movie. All three are rated PG-13, unlike the romantic comedy It Had to Be You, which is rated R and is only the fourteenth most popular on the list.

It is hard to battle the desire for watching gory movies that highlight super heroes and the supernatural because the fear factor stimulates the senses. It is okay for people to occasionally watch such movies for the sole purpose of entertainment, but everyone should consider the impact that repetitive viewing of violent and horror movies can have on the mind. According to Psychology Today, Watching such movies can increase aggressiveness, anxiety and overall unhappiness in people.

Film and photography teacher Amy Moore stresses the importance of watching movies in an educational setting. When parents watch movies with their children that contain violent or sexual content, they not only share a bonding experience, but they create a safe learning environment. Kids gain the opportunity to make connections between what they have viewed and both positive and negative situations humanity faces in the real world.

We could all learn from other cultures that value the creation of joy and life over what ends both. You can still enjoy your Halloween traditions and the occasional fictional war movie, but consider watching historical movies that recount tales of real violence and sexual relations. The rating system may never change, and our country may continue to spin on its wheel of self-destruction, but you have the power to choose what you watch. So what will it be?