Violence in movies is worse than sex, say parents
Published 02/05/2016 | 02:30
Parents are more worried about violence in films than they are about sex and bad language, according to the censor.
They also believe that bad language is harmful to their children, and want new technology to be developed to make it easier to check a film's suitability.
Research conducted by the Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO) also found there were concerns that cinemas were not enforcing age restrictions on movies.
According to the IFCO's annual report for 2015, which has been laid before the Oireachtas, the depiction of violence in all forms is the main concern of the parents of secondary school children when it comes to movies.
The research also found that sexual content was the second greatest concern, coming slightly higher than Hollywood's depictions of drugs.
Acting director of classification Ger Connolly said that this was "slightly surprising", given that children in secondary schools face greater exposure to drug use issues than those in primary schools.
The report also noted that 62pc of those surveyed still regard coarse language to be harmful rather than just unpleasant. But language was the area of least concern, according to the research, which was carried out with the assistance of the National Parents Council (Post-Primary).
It also found that the vast majority of parents favoured having IFCO classification at the start of films being shown on television.
Parents were also in favour of the development of a film classification app for smartphones, so that they can find out easily if a movie is suitable for their child to watch. Concerns were also expressed about a perceived lack of enforcement of age restrictions in cinemas.
The research will be used to inform a review of the IFCO's guidelines taking place this year.
The report said the IFCO had certified 371 movies in 2015, down 20 on the previous year.
It also certified 4,065 DVDs, an increase of 7pc on 2014. This marked the first annual increase in DVD certifications since 2005. Film distributors paid €1.5m for certification of cinema and DVD releases last year, the report said.
Almost half of the movies released here came from the US. Just 22 Irish films were certified for release, and five more were international co-productions involving Ireland.