Sex and violence are actually treated fairly similarly in the 12A & 15 ratings, do you watch many 12A romcoms? The amount of sexual references in some of those films can be quite significant when weighed up against the amount of violence in a 12A action film.
How do you define "sexual references" and can you give examples? I generally detest romcoms so don't have much experience of them. Would you say that such references are equally threatening to the mental health of a child as the violence presented in films such as you've named below?
I'll agree that they do step over the mark with violence in 12A, and this is usually in a fantasy setting. King Kong, The Dark Knight and Spiderman 2 all got away with the rating despite over stepping what i would consider acceptable. At the same time, i'd also argue that the sexualisation of younger girls in 12A films also over steps the mark just as much.
What do you mean by the "sexualisation of younger girls" in 12As? Can you give examples from films? And also bear in mind that the topic of "sexualisation of children", and the "damaging effects of exposing young children to sex scenes" are two seperate topics and debates - and I think we're straying around the periphery of on-topicness as it is.
If a child is asking those questions, they are not old enough to be watching a film where someones brains are splattered all over the screen - you wouldn't get that passed in anything less than a 15.
So all other things being equal, would you say that violence and sex are given equal weight? That the amount of violence in films aimed at prepubescent boys is on par with the amount of sex, and are you happy with the level of explicitness of both? To clarify:
1. Do you think the amount of violence and sex depicted in films are too much, too little, or just right, and do you think that there is an imbalance in the amount of each - for example, way more violence than there is sex (which is my opinion)?
2. Do you think the graphicness of both the violence and sex is appropriate to the age the film is aimed at? I personally can't remember the last time I saw a film that made me think "That film has too much sex/nudity for it's rating" but I can certainly name, like you, a number of films that in my opinion had too much violence.
The violence in younger films is more prevalent because children can easily understand the characters reasons for fighting. They can identify with the heroes fighting the bad men, the adventurer slaying the monsters, or the brother and sister fighting over the TV control or whatever. It's easy for them to process and less damaging than trying to figure out a concept they have no basis to identify with. You can explain how children are made, and why people have sex to a child - but they will not truly understand until they are able to experience those emotions themselves.
I would argue that I understood the concept of sex before I was 11, and was old enough to want to make out with a girl by the time I was 12. Since I think we can agree that PG and U films generally have negligible amounts of sex and graphic violence then we can focus on the pre-adult, post-child age bands of 12A and 15. I'm fairly certain by that point most children understand and potentially seek out intimate contact with other children of the same age, thus making the portrayal of physical affection more acceptable (to me) in a film than the portrayal of murder, torture et al.
Back on topic, do you think the violence in the 40K universe is at an equivalent level of rape and extreme sadistic and sexual violence? As I said earlier, I haven't really delved into that many BL books so perhaps i am being naive in thinking that GW's 12+ rating is appropriate. I already play small games with my son, and if he does want to get into it more seriously in future i will certainly have to keep a closer eye on it.
p.s - Pan's Labyrinth was definitely a 15 at the cinema, watched it twice
I think that the codices and other rules/fluff supplements have a lower level of written violence, but a higher level of artist-portrayed violence than BL publications, so I guess you might weigh them differently based on the medium of expression. I would think that a disturbing picture is more harmful than written prose, but that's purely opinion. I haven't read *that much* BL stuff, mostly sticking to Abnett and the HH series (because I find most of the other authors terrible in the extreme) and I find that mostly they tread within the bounds of what I'd be happy to let my hypothetical 12yr old son read.
To answer the question, I point out that the lack of equivalency is the basis of my argument for the diorama being a valid contribution to the hobby - we are all desensitised to the amount of death and sadism present in the 40k universe, which is why the inclusion of sexual violence shocks us when potentially nothing else could.
Do I think that there are equivalent levels of "traditional violence" and sexual violence in GW's publications? No. There is far more "traditional" violence.
Do I think that this is morally acceptable in the theoretical sense? No, not at all. I believe that societies' reluctance to examine and "deal with" rape is harmful to rape victims, allows perpetrators to go unpunished, and contributes to the inequality of women (an example being the latest sexual misconduct charges being levelled at a Lib Dem MP who is refusing to apologise... with a significant proportion of the party backing him up). In my theoretical perfect world, then sex, violence, and sexual violence are all equally acceptable/unacceptable depending on what your audience is. Instead we have this predisposition to assume that violence is fine, sex is less fine, and sexual violance so far from fine that we avoid it like the plague.
Do I think that anything is going to change quickly or soon, and do I think that we should be adding more sexual violence to Warhammer in order to balance out the already existing sadism and bigotry? Definitely not, and no, respectively. 40k is aimed at a demographic where current laws would prevent it from releasing such material even if they were so inclined, and it would be harmful (if not actually lethal) to the hobby if such a demographic was altered. However that doesn't mean that individual artists/modellers should be prevented/disallowed from creating models and dioramas that have the capacity to make us think about things in a new light, or villified for "harming the hobby" when they do so.
To draw an example, if I were (hypothetically) to run a Deathwatch campaign as a DM (so not even a type of "art", just a gaming session), and had a Slaaneshi cult being investigated by the players which resulted in them finding a room full of rape victims who have been used by the Imperial Guardsmen and Officers who are members of the cult, and even have them walk in while such an act is taking place... is that harming the hobby? Is it damaging anyone? What about if I posted the session notes from each session on my blog? Would that harm the hobby? Just how wide is this line, and how exactly do you decide who crosses it?