Why Sexuality and Nudity is Down in Movies

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Although it might be hard to believe, sexuality and nudity is actually going down in movies today.  And a number of Christian organizations are taking the credit.  Some raise money based on telling the public they work in Hollywood “consulting” the studios, and others say they boycott or apply pressure from the outside.  I don’t need to mention them, but they jump to the forefront when statistics indicate that sexuality in movies have dropped over the last number of years, and are the first in line to take credit.  But the truth is, that’s bunk.  Want to know the real reason movies don’t show as much nudity and sexuality as they used to?

Wal-Mart.

That’s right.  In 2007, the major Hollywood studios made $17.9 billion in DVD sales.  The catch?  $4 billion (nearly 25%) was made from selling to Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world.  But Wal-Mart actually has a policy that forces any movie with high sexuality and nudity away from the areas of highest visibility in their stores.  They take those DVD’s and put them in an “adult” section that’s much harder for customers to see.

Why do they do it?  They don’t want to offend moms.  They know mothers are there to get family oriented DVD’s for their kids, and they represent a huge market for Wal-Mart.

So Hollywood gets it, and responds with less sexuality in mainstream movies.  As I’ve said many times before, Hollywood isn’t trying to destroy American families or corrupt our youth.  They’re just in the business of making money.  That’s why boycotts, name calling, or appealing to moral or spiritual values just falls flat.

Is it religious ministry organizations making the difference?  Nope.  Studios are discovering that it’s simply good business.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Jon

    Good article. It’s not the boycotts causing things to change, it’s the desire to make money. The only reason why things like “Fox Faith”, or Sony distributing Fireproof, is because these companies see a large, mostly untapped market for “moral” films. Yes they have their own interests (money) in mind, but Christians can use this for the right reasons in getting media distritbuted. If we can’t appeal to Hollywoods sense of morality, appeal to it’s greed.

  • http://www.lightquestmedia.com Chris

    OK, so you are saying that the studios are actually changing content because it is better for business, profits, and share prices?  I guess this might be true, but how can a nonprofit raise any money with that story? 

    I can see where this whole profit-motive thing could catch on though.

  • @pAbolding

    Jack – I followed you train of thought and feel you are right on point. The “shit” aka the egg, could have only come from the “idiots” aka the chickens. Though, lets not keep ourselves from thinking outside the box. The church should get some credit here, but it is merely secondary, it is neither the chicken or the shit or egg or whatever (help me here, jack). Could it not be simply because there is a growing trend that parents are being more concerned with what their kids are exposed to? Due largely in part to there being more to which than can be exposed to? With the godless generation that I am part of, new parents realize the impact of media(s) exposure and thus are reverting to censoring more of what their children take in, as hopeless of a battle it is. So, sure, the church helped but it doesn’t get to put its flag on the hill just yet.

  • http://www.graymedia.tv Gabe Harris

    Phil, this was so informative. Thanks! Always love the knowledge you share with us. Your comment about honest complaints prevailing over organized boycotts/protests is helpful. I’ve been meaning to write a letter to FOX about a particular show but didn’t know it would be read. Now I think it will. Thanks.

  • JimmyB

    Are we certain this is a current topic?
    Most of what was referenced I read in an article on Slate.com from August 2005.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2124498

  • Phil

    I don’t doubt it.  Reality is reality, and this isn’t a daily newspaper.  But much more detail can be found in:

    The Hidden Financial Reality Behind the Movies
    by Edward Jay Epstein
    Melville, (2010) 240 pp., $16.95

  • Brian

    Great article!!! I saw another site with similar themed gratuitous or graphic nudity detailing the same thing in other movies, books, apps, etc… (www.graphicnudity.biz) its amazing how many times nudity crops up in main stream media!

  • Sickofit

    I see it is as a feminist thing. Hollywood has to acknowledge that women make up more than half the viewership (and consumerism). We don’t want to sit there and watch the men being pandered to while our interests are not even being addressed. It’s insulting.