There is no or little of censoring of publications in Australia – so it seems. It idea of freedom of choice for every consumer is the principle which rules what we choose to see.
The Government(s) have however thought it good to help the public to make their choices. The Classification Board serves the public, because, “The Australian public relies on classifications to make choices about entertainment products and to decide what is suitable for those in their care to watch or play.” (more)
Films, electronic games, books, TV programs, etc, are usually classified as G, PG, M, MA, R, and X. G is for general, PG for Parental Guidance, M for Mature, MA for Mature Audiences.
Apart from the fact that blasphemy is not included in any of the classification system, about everything else goes – provided that what is said, done and promoted do not “offend”, “demean” or “ridicule” or “provoke or perpetuate intense dislike” of a person or a group of persons, “on the grounds of age, colour, gender, national or ethnic origin, disability, race, religion or sexual preference.” (more)
So far so good, leaving alone the undefined meaning of “moral, artistic or other values”. (What, should we ask, defines “moral” and “artistic”? “What is a “value”, and why are some values good and others bad?)
TV programs containing nudity, sex scenes, bad language, drug use, or violence are announced to contain these aspects. The bad language, drug use and violence contained in these programs erode our culture and is by definition not beneficial to G, M, MA, or whatever audiences amy be. But this principle applies not only in films or publications – it is generally bad, and not only bad for underaged children. To prevent people (and more so children) watching programs containing these things is good, and generally it should serve the purpose to educate them that these things are bad for “moral, artistic or other values.”
There is no room for nudity and sex scenes should in any publicly released material aimed at the general public, more so when depicted outside of marriage (medical journals and other academic research are not aimed at the general public, but should still publicised discerningly). One can, if looked through a very big magnifying glass to see what is written between the lines, probably see that the Classification Board understands this principle. It is from this premise that one can endeavour to define the term pornography.
But like violence, drugs and bad language, nudity and sex are not intrinsically bad or sinful. Don’t for one moment think that I want programs and films with nudity and sex in it not to be classified, even if it depicts the healthy marriage relationship. No, what happens between a husband and his wife should remain in the bedroom – we understand this very well: moms and dads for this reason shut their bedroom and bathroom doors. Nudity and sex is something exclusive and private when it happens within the confines of for what reason God created it.
My concern is that when programs and films containing sex and nudity are grouped in with vices like drug use, violence and bad language. Sex and nudity, as a criterium for what can be seen by adults, and not by children, in this context are construed as something ugly. Desiring it, looking at it and enjoying it puts one in the section of society that enjoys bad things.
Little wonder that sex is seen as the forbidden fruit which should be enjoyed only when one stretches the rules of what is good and bad to the daring and the immoral.
The solution: keep sex and nudity out of TV programs – not because it is intrinsically bad, but because it can only really be good within the framework for which God created it: the holiness of the exclusive relationship between a married man and the wife he married (or for the gender sensitive out there: the relationship between the woman and the man she married).
Fact is, in spite of all the good intentions of any Classification Board, sex outside of marriage has become the major instrument in the breakdown of morals: family units and the value of family have been undermined, divorce and de facto relationships have increased, the number of one parent children are skyrocketing, teen pregnancies and abortions are out of control, and homosexuality is accepted as absolutely normal, etc.
The way sex and nudity are depicted through TV and films indeed “contain content that children find confusing or upsetting”. (more)