T Nation

Cursing in Movies and Children


I have a friend at work who has 2 younger kids. He was saying how he bought them the Goonies and never realized how much cursing was in it. He probably let them watch it, but he didn't let them see Transformers because he heard there was some cussing.

Now maybe it's just me, but it's just words. Why such the fuss? I grew up watching R movies with loads of bad stuff in it, I turned out half decent. Even my friend is a stand up guy.

Why do people get in such a fuss about "offensive" language. I mean they're just fucking words.

what say you?


It's because parents never use bad words, especially when they're fighting, so the movies teach them all kinds of bad things.


I say that if it exist then why try to deny it


This reminds me of when the South Park movie came out and people were making a big deal about the bad language. The funny thing was the movie mocked the whole thing.


by the time a kid gets to 5th grade he already knows every bad word there is, maybe even more then the parents know


To play devil's advocate, they are "just words", but words have meanings. When I say, "there's a snake behind you", those are just words too, right? Sure, but they have a definite meaning...

A younger child doesn't have the same sort of judgment, experience and reasoning skills an adult has. Hence the child probably won't really understand just how serious a meaning something like "fucking cunt" or the like has, and may out of innocence throw these words around carelessly. If the child continually sees these words thrown around freely without restrain, they probably will never appreciate the meaning they have.

Anyway, I'm not quite sure I buy that all of this necessarily means you should keep your child from hearing words with profane meanings, but I do think the line that "they're just words" is a terrible argument for why you should let your child hear anything and everything.


Probably b/c they don't want their kids yelling out fuck in public and the like.


First, why fuck is a bad word, I don't know.

When I was a kid I didn't know what fuck was but I knew if I said it I'd get spanked. It still works in much the same way but when I was a kid spankings kept me from ever saying it. No need for censoring movies.

Yesterday I saw a clip of National Lampoon's Vacation and realized there's a whole lot of cussing in it. I think if kids aren't swearing already (if their parents don't tell them not to), they dont even care if people in the movie say it or not.


i was suprised at the amount of smack talk in T2. the parents are probably in denial if they think movies are going to be the thing to teach kids bad language. i learnt all mine from kevin blooy wilson


i thought this thread was gonna be about cussing while at the fucking movies.


Do any of you actually have kids?


The way I see it, the problem lies not so much with cursing in itself as with parents not teaching their kids proper behavior. There are so many ongoing arguments like this, often in the media, such as 'letting kids watch violent movies' or 'letting kids play violent videogames'. Is it okay or not?

Personally, I've watched violent movies and played violent games when I was young. I watched Robocop when I was under 10 I think (remember the scene where he gets shot to pieces - that was pretty bad) and have been playing videogames since the first Nintedo was released. Anyway, I don't go around beating people up or going on killing sprees. Why? Because I had parents that actually took the time to teach me values and proper behavior, rather than parking my ass in front of the TV and hoping I'd turn out alright. Kids will be fine even if they are exposed to 'extreme behavior' as long as they are taught how to deal with it. Same goes for cursing - you can have your kid watch a movie where people curse, but make sure you teach him/her not to be one of those douchebags that puts 'fucking' in front of every noun.

That being said, those movie and videogame ratings aren't there for no reason. I am NOT saying people should be completely careless when it comes to picking entertainment for their five year old girl. But they should use some common sense and don't forget to do some actual parenting once in a while.


1) Zakk is a GOD.

2) I have a 7 year old. I taught him that swearing is bad even though people do it a lot in the movies and real life. I did this because I don't want him to swear in front of his grandparents, great grandparents, teachers, etc. This makes me a hypocrite but I don't really care. That's part of being a parent. When he's old enough to understand what a hypocrite is, then he'll be old enough to swear "responsibly" and we can get into when it is and isn't ok to swear. That's too much for him to handle at 7 though.

For a long time he would scold me (actually anyone and everyone) when I swore. It was annoying, and I explained to him that kids don't correct adults and that all he has to do is not swear himself. He stopped scolding me.

3) I've noticed there is much less cursing in big movies these days. The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Terminator Salvation, etc. all had MUCH less swearing than their counterparts in the '90s. Hell, even John McClane got censored in Die Hard 4.


Good. I need alot of parents like that. They make it all the more easy for me to succeed as a parent.


How do you know it's too much for him to handle at 7? Is it really or is it you limiting his grasp of these matters due to his age?

Im asking because I noticed in America there is this definitive thing about teaching kids certain things by a certain age. I come from a place where kids can do advanced math and calculus in elementary school. Chemistry is hardcore by the 5th grade.

I feel like the young mind can and does understand the concepts you're shielding your child from. They don;t see it as a burden to their childhood, but we sometimes save them from expanding their minds early on because WE deem some info not age appropriate.


What I don't understand is why some movies, not all, but some have so much swearing in it that it just seems like they are adding all those words to get a R rating or just to extend the length of a movie.

But that is Hollywood for you.


While I'm sympathetic to the first part, I call complete and utter bullshit on the second unless you have some serious hedging and qualifying to do.




In what country is the AVERAGE 5th grader doing calculus?


I want you to explain what you mean by "advanced mathematics" and "calculus". Generally when someone says advanced mathematics they are referring at least to various branches of mathematics that are heavily into proof theory and set theory--So stuff like group theory and modern algebra, algebraic and geometric topology, etc. You of course can throw things like analysis or analytic number theory in there too, even though in their introductory presentations they aren't too set theoretic. As for "calculus", when someone mentions this I assume they are talking about a more rigorous limit calculus where the normal definitions of derivative and integral are given along with techniques for finding these things and of course lots of applications--gradient, curl, etc.

Unless you take me to the classroom where your average 9-10 yr old 5th grader is sitting and doing these sorts of things, I will not believe it. I do think your average middle school child--12-15ish--is able to handle many proof concepts, and that there are even probably a good number of children in this age range who can handle set theoretic concepts. It's certainly fairly common for younger high school students--15-16--to do good parts of calculus and advanced mathematics, as I have described above.

Your AVERAGE 9-10 year old doing these things? Bullshit... complete and utter. The occasional exceptional one who can? Sure, there are cases.

Now, as to why I say this... (I can't believe I'm arguing this point.) I actually have a hard time believing that the average 9-10 yr old can even conceptually handle many algebraic concepts--let alone set theoretic concepts (Don't get me started on "new math"). I say this both because the anecdotal evidence seems to support it--there are reasons why the average 5th grader doesn't get much beyond fractions--and also because the neuroscience and psychology people seem to lend much support to the idea that the average 5th graders mind hasn't developed enough to understand the sort of abstract concepts that are involved in advanced mathematics.

So, I have explained, now you explain.