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What PG13 means?

What PG13 means?

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It is within our policies at Bear Pause Theater to abide by the MPAA ratings system as closely as possible. The guide provided below is to help give a general idea of what to expect with a film based on the final rating that it is given by the MPAA. An important note that no one under the age of 17 will be allowed to enter into R rated films without a parent or guardian present.

G, or «General Audiences-All Ages Admitted»

Films that are given a G rating contain none of the following themes: language, nudity, sex, violence, or material that could otherwise offend the parents of younger children who may be screening the film. Though some snippets of language may go beyond what is considered polite conversation, they are generally kept to everyday expressions with no stronger words being present within these specific conversations or any other within the film. Depictions of violence are minimal or lightly comical in nature. No nudity, scenes of sexual nature or drug use are present in the film as well. It is important to note that a G rating is not a «certificate of approval», nor does it automatically mean that the film in question is one made specifically for children.

PG, or «Parental Guidance Suggested. Some Material May Not Be Suitable For Children»

Films that are given a PG-rating may contain material that some parents / guardians deem unsuitable for their children, younger or otherwise. Unlike with G rated films, PG rated films include more mature elements and themes that may call for parental guidance. While light, there may be some instances of profanity within the film, as well as depictions of violence or brief nudity. No drug content is present within PG rated films. Though these elements are not deemed as so intense that they require parents / guardians be present during the screening or strongly cautioned beforehand, they should still take into account the official rating of the film to determine whether or not it is suitable for their younger children.

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PG-13, or «Parents Strongly Cautioned. Some Material May Be Inappropriate For Children Under 13»

PG-13 ratings are a sterner warning by the MPAA to parents / guardians to determine whether their children under the age of 13 should view the motion picture. PG-13 films may go beyond the PG rating in theme, violence, nudity, sensuality, language, adult activities or other elements, but not so much so that the content reaches the territory of an R-rating. To note, the theme of the film itself will not result in a rating greater than PG-13. Any drug content or use in a film will initially require at PG-13 rating at minimum, as will any instance of nudity that is beyond brief or sexually oriented. Depictions of violence within PG-13 films will be stronger than that included in PG-rated films, but not realistic, extreme or persistent type violence. Harsher sexually-derived words and single usages of stronger expletives fall into PG-13 territory, though anything beyond this would require and R-rating. PG-13 rated films bridge the gap between PG and R-rated films, and whether or not children under the age of 13 or between the ages of 13 and 16 should attend these films is left to the decision of parents / guardians.

R, or «Restricted, Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent Or Adult Guardian»

Films that are R rated included some adult material. Parents / guardians are strongly urged to find out more about an R rated film before allowing their children to accompany them to it. No one under the age of 17 will be permitted into R rated films without a parent / guardian present. R rated films may include adult themes, adult activities, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually-oriented nudity, drug abuse, or other elements that are not suitable for PG-13 rated films. It is suggested that parents / guardians take the R rated advisory very seriously in regards to minors.

NC-17, or «No One 17 And Under Admitted»

NC-17-rated films are films that most parents / guardians would consider to be too adult for their children under the age of 17. No children will be admitted to NC-17 rated films regardless of whether or not a parent / guardian is present during screening. Though an NC-17 rating does not automatically mean that the film in question is «obscene» or «pornographic», it does signal that the content is only appropriate for an adult audience. NC-17 ratings can be based on violence, sex, aberrational behavior, drug abuse or any other element that most parents would consider to be too strong and therefore off-limits for viewing by their children.

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The First Amendment Encyclopedia

Presented by the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies


The Free Speech Center operates with your generosity! Please donate now!

Motion Picture Ratings

By Douglas C. Dow
Other articles in Issues Related to Speech, Press, Assembly, or Petition

The First Amendment limits the degree to which governments can censor or ban movies. In 1968 the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) established a system of movie ratings for parents to use as a guide to determine the appropriateness of a film’s content for children and teenagers. The ratings system is voluntary, and there is no legal requirement that filmmakers submit their films for rating. Director Steven Spielberg was responsible for the PG-13 after his movies Jaws and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom were rated PG. Spielberg felt that the PG rating was too broad for the violence in these movies and suggested a PG-14 rating. In this photo, Spielberg poses with alien character E.T. in London, Dec. 1982. (AP Photo/Press Association, used with permission from the Associated Press)

The First Amendment limits the degree to which governments can censor or ban movies. In 1968 the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) established a system of movie ratings for parents to use as a guide to determine the appropriateness of a film’s content for children and teenagers. The ratings system is voluntary, and there is no legal requirement that filmmakers submit their films for rating. However, there are potentially significant economic sanctions for those filmmakers unwilling to accept the ratings system. For example, many theater chains will not run films without ratings, and numerous publications will not run ads for unrated films.

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MPAA ratings replaced the Hay’s Production Code

The MPAA rating system replaced the older Hay’s Production Code, used from the 1930s through 1966, in which the U.S. motion picture industry had adopted a policy of self-censorship. The Production Code listed specifics about what would not be permitted in films and a vague imperative that films should not lower the moral standards of viewers.

There were several reasons why the Production Code was replaced, including a 1968 opinion in Interstate Circuit, Inc. v Dallas, in which the Supreme Court forbade local governments from banning movies shown to adults but permitted officials to pass laws preventing children from being exposed to certain material. In addition, as the hierarchical studio system died, studios executives lost their iron grip over the content of films, which made the Production Code unenforceable. Finally, the social norms of the 1960s allowed for more candid depictions of adult matter, and during this period there was a greater acceptance of more explicit degrees of nudity, sexuality, and violence.

MPAA has five rating categories

The new ratings system began with four categories: G (general audiences), M (mature audiences, changed in 1969 to PG, parental guidance suggested), R (restricted, no children under 17 allowed without parents or adult guardians), and X (no one under 17 admitted). The ratings were revised several times over the years, to include in 1984 a new PG-13 label, and in 1990 a new NC-17 rating (which stands for no one 17 and under admitted). The NC-17 rating replaced the X rating, which came to signify pornography.

MPAA Board has been mired in controversy

Since its inception, the Ratings Board of the MPAA—an eleven-member board made up of parents who are not employed by the entertainment industry—has been mired in controversy. The board has been accused of being more lenient to major studios, granting them more acceptable ratings compared to those given to independent and foreign films. The board is charged with considering a given film in its entirety, rather than taking questionable scenes out of context, but additional charges have been made that the Ratings Board looks more harshly on individual depictions of sexuality and nudity than on violence. There is an appeals system for studios who want to contest a rating.

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This article was originally published in 2009. Douglas C. Dow, Ph.D., is a professor at the University of Texas at Dallas specializing in political theory, public law, legal theory and history, and American politics.


  • Censorship
  • Indecency and the Electronic Media
  • Interstate Circuit, Inc. v. Dallas (1968)
  • Obscenity and Pornography


  • Farber, Stephen. The Movie Ratings Game. Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1972.
  • Leone, Ron. “Contemplating Ratings: An Examination of What the MPAA Considers ‘Too Far for R’ and Why.” Journal of Communication 52, no. 4 (December 2002): 938–954.
  • Vaughn, Stephen. Freedom and Entertainment: Rating the Movies in an Age of New Media. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  • Blitz, Matt. «A Brief History of the Movie Rating System.» Gizmodo, Dec. 30, 2014.
  • Geltzer, Jeremy. «Forbidden Films and the First Amendment.» Wisconsin Law Review (2016).
  • Huges, Kyontze. «Rating & Labeling Entertainment.» Freedom Forum Institute, May 2006.
  • «A Brief History of Film Censorship.» National Coalition Against Censorship.
Ссылка на основную публикацию