The Instigator
Con (against)
9 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
3 Points

Children (13 and under) should be banned from seeing PG13 and R Rated movies

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/3/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,891 times Debate No: 19643
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (3)




Saw this debate and thought it was interested but this is open to anyone and everyone who wants to accept it.

I believe that children (ages 13 and under) Should not be banned from seeing PG13 and R Rated movies because I think the idea that children should not see these movies is because they may be harmed by its content. However such reasoning is based entirely on the maturity of the children, and the level of maturity is measured only according to their age, which isnt entirely reflective of a person's maturity...

Ill hold off on my other arguments for now. The Pro will argue why children (as defined before as 13 and under) should in all cases be banned from seeing movies rated PG-13 or R....

Con may use the opening round for arguments or may just accept the debate, either is perfectly fine.

I look forward to an informative debate, 4 rounds, 4000 characters....


I accept the debate. Personally, it feels more comfortable to begin my arguments in the second round considering this is the structure of many of my debates. I'm glad that my opponent is lenient enough to allow me to do this, and I await his arguments.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank the Con for accepting the debate :) I will be basing my first arguments on two things

1) The age limit is supposed to be a measure of maturity, but it is not a perfect representation
2) Movies within the rankings of PG-13 and R are classified according to different standards which according to a persons maturity may or may not "damage" them compared to other movies that rightfully belong in those categories.

The only factor used in defining entrance to certain movies is age. Not height, IQ, Stamina, number of moveis of the same they have seen before, just age. The reason it is age is because that is the closest quality of people that can be easily observed to compare to their maturity. If you have a low age, your maturity is assumed to be low as well, higher age thus would mean a higher maturity.

The problem with this is that age is does not always accurately measure someones maturity. For example, girls mature faster than guys do as they grow up. A guy of one age will not be as mature as a girl of the same age, yet movie theaters still deny access to people if they are too young even though girls and guys have very different maturity levels at the same age.

With this being said if movies deny people entrance to movies because they are not mature enough to see them, then why dont girls have a lower age limit to see movies? They are on average more mature so thus they should be given a lower age limit to see movies then guys because they are more mature.

2) There are many different criteria that qualifies why a movie is rated PG-13 or R.
PG-13 =
Contain mild swear words
brief smoking,
crude or suggestive humor,
Short and infrequent horror moments and/or mild violence.
No drug use is acceptable in this category.
Topless men may be present but topless women are not usually acceptable.
A few racial insults may also be heard.

R =
These films may contain mild or implied sex scenes or prolonged nudity
Strong violence often with blood and gore,
Strong horror scenes and explicit/illegal/prolonged drug use.
Strong drug use
Strong and excessive use of profanity

Now many films that are classified under either of these categories usually qualify in at least half of these qualifications, however there are some films that are only classified as such for one qualification only. For example: Rise of the Planet of the Apes had no swear words, no smoking, no crude or suggestive humor, no horror moments, no racial insults, and no naked guys or girls. The only reason this film was classified as PG-13 is because of mild violence, and in the film no one dies or gets mortally wounded at all. Surely someone 13 years of age or younger could be able to tolerate say, an ape throwing a sewer drain cover at a cop car, and not be scarred for life.

There are also many films that have also been classified as either when it could be argued that they shouldnt have.

The Kings Speech for example was a rather clean film (clean of porn, drugs, racial slurs, etc.) yet the reason why this Best Picture Winner was rated R was because of a few seconds of swearing that the King himself underwent as part of his therapy. Now compare that to The Exorcist, a movie that was rated R for numerous instances of pure horror, a great deal of swearing, both racial and otherwise, very suggestive actions (shoving a wooden crucifix in her vagina), etc. How can both of these films be classified under the same Movie category?

Ill end here for now and reinforce my reasons
1) Age is not a perfect measure of maturity since people of the same age can vary greatly on their maturity
2) The movie ranking system is too general and some movies in the category are far less harmful too viewers than other movies.

This is why I think that children should not be banned from seeing PG-13 and R rated movies


In this part of the round, what I am going to do is provide an analysis of my opponent's case and provide counterexamples in order to uphold my own position.

Rebuttal 1: My opponent argues that the current system of rating movies based on a system of age limits provides and imperfect representation of the maturity of audiences in question attending to the said films. What I dare him to do is find a system that is completely, utterly, and efficiently perfect. My opponent makes the assertion that girls mature faster than boys do when it comes to psychological development in order to provide this tangent that not all of the people within this age category are mentally identical, but: at the very basic mental level, however, people within this age range have similar characteristics: people within this age range are more adapt to act on impulse, have poorer analytical mental skills in order to solve problems, etc. Maybe in IQ and superficial maturity, they are different, but when it comes to how their brain fuctions to situations and stimuli, they are heavily the same. Thus, we have a rating system for films that classifies based on age. (All of my sources for everything said will be iterated in the final round of the debate or the next round. Whichever is more convinient)

Rebuttal 2: What my opponent seems to be arguing here is more about criticizing the way that films are rated rather than why people 13 and under should be able to watch R rated and PG-13 films. He provides this tangent comparing The King's Speech to The Exorcist, and he talks about why it is so ludicrous that they are placed in the same category. He, however, acts as if this is some sort of justification for children to be able to see ALL R-rated movies. What if we DO have a film rightfully placed in an R-rated category? Well, children are able to see The King's Speech, which is also rated R, so they're going to be just fine watching The Exorcist right? Of course not. No one said that our system is perfect. No one said that our system makes the most reasonable decisions or standards 100% of the time, but the what the question then comes to is when these movies are placed in those categories for rightful reasons, are we still going to allow children to see it? After all, we are talking about PG-13 and R-rated films in general. With a film's possible exposure to violence, crude humor, sexuality, drug use, and any other elements that may be too strong for some audiences, the CON stands with a more reasonable stance: we should not allow these films to be presented to these younger audiences because they can certainly negatively affect them.
Debate Round No. 2


1) "What I dare him to do is find a system that is completely, utterly, and efficiently perfec"

thats not the debate here...... however I can provide one that might work a bit better....

If a child is 13 years old or younger and is at the movies, then there is a good chance they were driven there or are accompanied by their parents or someone of age. Since the 13 year old children or younger are probably not paying for their tickets, that means that the adult or parent with them is. Therefore it is up to the parent to make the right choice of whether or not their children are mature enough to see the film. If they think they are and the children are mature enough, no harm done. If they are not but the parents still dont want them too, then still no harm done. If the parents think they are mature enough but it turns out the children are not, then blame the parents.

As for the similarities, yes there are similarities between children of that age, Im not arguing they are as different as Venus and Neptune. What I am arguing is that there is enough a difference to show how girls may be a little more mature than guys are at that age.
^ sort of my point (second paragraph)

2) " He, however, acts as if this is some sort of justification for children to be able to see ALL R-rated movies"
Way to completely twist my words..... Im arguing that because the rating system is rather inefficient that some movies are far less harmful to children than other movies in the same category are. Im not saying that 13 year old's should see "The Exorcist" because yeah, that would mess them up, however I challenge the Con to find one report of a 13 year old child being psychologically crippled or damaged after watching the King's Speech...

"we should not allow these films to be presented to these younger audiences because they can certainly negatively affect them"

I assume the Con is referring to all R Rated and PG-13 movies, however some movies can be rather inspirational or uplifting to children who watch it.

The King's Speech
Iron Man
The Patriot
Forrest Gump
The Shawshank Redemption
Schindlers List
The Green Mile
Avatar (the god one not that ungodly version of the last airbender by M Night Shalyama or however you spell his name)
Lorenzo's oil

It could be argued that these films would do overall some net good for children 13 and under but according to you these kids should not be able to see these movies. I am certainly not saying that ALL R rated movies should be seen by 13 year olds but i am saying that they should not be banned from seeing other R rated or PG13 rated movies and that if they do it is probably the fault of the parents that they were damaged by it since they most likely brought them to the movie theaters and paid for their tickets and are watching the movie with them.... contrary to what the Pro says....


ScarletGhost4396 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


I thank the pro for their input and i would like to thank the readers for reading :D


I'd like to thank my opponent for the debate provided, but I'd also like to apologize for my forfeited round. Judges, I will totally understand if you give my opponent the vote for conduct. However, I would like to explain in this final round why you should still vote for me and not my opponent as well as address my opponent's rebuttal.
Rebuttal 1: This really wasn't part of the resolution; my opponent was somewhat correct here. However, what my opponent is doing is that he is directly criticizing a rating system because it bases how appropriate content is based on age, so it is HE who is bringing the system into question. I digress, however, considering that the main point of my opponent's argument is that age is not an excellent arbiter of maturity. I explained, however, that at certain ages, the brain has different developments that directly correlate to the behaviors and reasoning of a person of such an age, and when it comes to these ages, the brain structures of these people (children, in this example) are directly affected by their emotions. At the basic level, a girl and boy's brain are still heavily immature, regardless of a girl's head start in their maturity. My opponent's evidence is solid. I will give him that. However, it doesn't change the fact that even so, a girl is still heavily immature in comparison to a person whose brain has developed enough to make conscious and rational decisions 100% of the time, meaning that his evidence is insignificant, at best.
Rebuttal 2: At the point where my opponent concedes to the idea that children should not see ALL "R" rated movies, he is moving more toward the PRO argument because the resolution is clearly talking about PG-13 and R-rated films in general. At the point where he concedes this, it means that he affirms that at some level, some rated R and PG-13 films are actually things that are not appropriate. My opponent brings up this example of some films having this unreasonable rating, but for one thing, he doesn't provide a quantitative measure as to how many of these movies are actually badly rated, thus showing us that my opponent doesn't provide a measure of efficiency for the rating system. Overall, it could be very high. Overall, it could be very low. Who knows considering my opponent provides no such measure of efficiency. For another thing, even if we have had unreasonable ratings before, I've explained: no one said that our rating system is perfect, but when we look at movies in this rating in general, including films like The Exorcist or The Terminator or other such high-violence, high-profanity, etc. films, we can conclude that in general, children should be banned. The parent, of course, always bears some responsibility, but in the cases where this responsibility is not supplied, this banning system will help sustain the responsibility needed.
Reasons for voting PRO: Like I said, the conduct vote should definately go for the CON considering my forfeit, but the vote for actual argumentation should go to me. In the first point, my opponent points out the difference in maturity between girls and boys, but doesn't argue that at the most basic level, their cognitive ability are heavily similar considering their brain structure despite minor differences, so he pretty much concedes, and he agrees that many of these films are things that should not be seen by children when we're arguing in the general and provides no quantitative standard to measure the efficiency of the rating system. In the end, he pretty much agrees with almost everything I said.

Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by JustCallMeTarzan 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had the better of the argument here. Pro would have done much better attacking the second prong of the resolution (only R-rated) and dropping the PG-13 issue. Pro never convincingly rebutted the age/maturity issue. Simply stating that age is de facto maturity does not cut it. Conduct to Con for Pro missing a round.
Vote Placed by Fatihah 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: The reason for banning children is because they are not mature enough. Therfore, the appropriate refute would be that children are mature enough. However, Con's argument does not refute whether or not children are mature enough to watch the films, but rather argues that what movies rate is mature for children is not logical. Therefore, the argument goes to Pro, because Con never refutes that banning children from something that is not mature for them is wrong, but rather criticizes the system.
Vote Placed by Stephen_Hawkins 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: imabench has the debate won, as he has provided examples where it should not be banned, and the general statements he made backed up the motion.