ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)


R-13: Do you see a trend forming here? Stealing childhood from children.

"The strangest thing happened in August 2000 as I was updating the ChildCare Action Project (CAP) media analysis records. I noticed a significant increase in the percentage of R-13 movies. 'R-13' is a term I coined to make a point which I will explain."

September 5, 2000; Updated January 3, 2001; Revived July 2002; Updated March 1, 2003; Updated December 31, 2004; Updated March 14, 2012.

In an on-going study, the ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP) Ministry has revealed objective mathematical evidence of the relative position and movement of morality in popular movies -- the moral trajectory of movies -- evidence not possible by subjective traditional movie reviews and equally subjective opinion-based commentaries.

The CAP Ministry built a special truly statistical analysis model using more than 30 mathematical operations driven by 80 investigation standards built on His teachings and expectations. Objectivity is assured by the use of prescribed investigation standards, thus preventing contamination by personal ethics or morals. The CAP analysis model is designed to reveal the relative moral value, or content, of any communication medium. Due to financial constraints we have focused on movies.

Verification and validation of the CAP analysis model was performed in 1995 and 1996 by actual use of the model on 39 generally available non-cartoon feature length movies. The 39 movies analyzed during the verification and validation of the CAP analysis model formed the comparative baseline database (see CAP Methodology). With 100 being the highest possible score, movies of the comparative baseline database earned the following CAP Final Scores consistently and reliably:

  • G: 100 to 87
  • PG: 86 to 68
  • PG-13: 67 to 55
  • R: 54 and below

    "R-13" is a term coined by the CAP Ministry to describe a PG-13* movie which earns a CAP Final Score equivalent to scores earned by R-rated movies in the comparative baseline database. Specifically, PG-13 movies earning CAP Final Scores of 54 and below.

    Of the movies analyzed in the indicated year, the following percentages of PG-13 movies were "R-13." The data are from a total of 684 movies rated PG-13:

    NOTE: In July 2004 Harvard University echoed our findings, a full four years after we published our original findings in 2000.

    Do you see a trend forming here?

    A way of thinking of "R-13" is a movie containing R-rated programming targeted at the PG-13 age stratum. More could be offered to further describe "R-13" but confidence is high that as a parent you are quite capable of gathering the meaning.

    About 80% of the entertainment diet of our PG-13 viewers is now objectively equivalent to R-rated programming, most notably in profanity and sexual immorality revealed deeper in the data. Did you ever wonder why more and more kids younger and younger each year are becoming so worldly without becoming wise? Does the expression "stealing childhood from children" now have more definition for you?

    What if the same trend has happened to PG movies? To G-rated movies? I think this likely. And what about the coming years? As yet unqualified evidence is that even PG movies have crept or will creep more and more toward the R stratum. In some cases, PG movies have already been revealed to contain programming mathematically equivalent to R-rated programming in one or more of our six investigation areas. And G movies likewise show evidence (as yet unqualified) of sliding away from G toward R, away from wholesome. A few of the titles rated PG we have analyzed earned R-equivalent final scores -- R-PG movies! We have the data to reveal such trending, just not yet enough resources to compile the data revealed by G and PG movies.

    This R-13 discovery was made with absolutely no selectivity. No significant skewing of data is assured. For each of the more than 1500 movies we have analyzed, the same analysis model was used using the same equations, the same data gathering methodology, the same investigation standards, even the same computer application on the same computer, all setting on the same desk performed by the same investigator.

    The R-13 finding is just one of the findings of the CAP Ministry regarding the influence of popular entertainment. Another finding is that sex, drugs and violence are not the strongest influences in and as entertainment. They take their toll, to be sure, but are not the most invasive and morally corrupting aberrant influence. They are but spinoffs or by-products of the strongest influence. The real influence is much more basal and is the first in the list of seven behaviors God hates in Proverb 16:29. More on this and other findings as funding permits.

    With a worldwide readership approaching 12,000,000 and with trust enough in the CAP model for it to be incorporated in a textbook for the University of Oxford (London), in periodicals and professional newsletters, and enough trust in it to be endorsed by mainstream ministries plus uncounted parents and grandparents, pastors, youth leaders and more, CAP findings should be taken seriously. The CAP model gives you the tools and information that should help you be in a better position to make an informed moral decision whether a vehicle of entertainment is fit for your kids (or yourself).

    Tom Carder
    President, Chaplain
    ChildCare Action Project (CAP) Ministry
    A nonprofit 501(c)(3) Christian ministry


    The ChildCare Action Project (CAP) is a nonprofit Christian ministry. We rely on public support. We cannot provide future data without your generous financial support. If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation by credit card to the CAP ministry, please go to our donations page. We are a nonprofit Christian ministry in accordance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Tax Codes.

    ©CAP Ministry

    * "G", "PG", "PG-13" and "R" are registered marks of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)

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    In the name of Jesus:
    Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.

    ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

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