The Meaning of 'Mature
and the need for a category of 'Immature
A solution to the problems of classifying TV/films/video
and of goals for youth
A solution to many problems at once would be to define Mature Adult. The present classification of
'Mature Adult' would then be relabelled as Immature Adult.
Children and adolescents would then have an idea of the choices
they can have as adults - to be mature or remain immature.
Adults could thenrecognise when they are being adult and when
they are regressing to immature play 'in the service of the ego'
as the psychiatric jargon has it, or not, as the case may be.
- Children, teenagers and adult should be taught - including by
TV and video drama - what being a Mature
Adult really means.
- The classification of Mature
Adult for entertainment, shops and reading matter should be
changed. Mature Adult Entertainment has Adult Themes of Beauty,
Goodness, Truth, social responsibility, nurture of others,
imagination applied to the real world as well as in fantasy,
pursuit of knowledge, problem-solving, delight in thinking, truly
courageous and complex heroes. Drama and fiction follow Hugo's
advice, 'Character for the men, emotions for the women and action
for the vulgar mob,' but without his categorisations of audience.
- Immature Adult Entertainment has
Immature Adult themes of Violence, Coarse Language, Explicit Sex
and Admired Criminals
- Care responsibly about their community and their children, and
identify with all humankind.
- They enjoy behaviour and entertainment that is not
voyeuristic, sadistic or destructive.
- Their sexual relationships are intimate and affectionate -
'our vegetable love can grow vaster than empires and more slow' as
Andrew Marvell put it, and as the speed of video cannot
- Their vocabulary, even in temper and frustration, is wide and
assists rather than prevents thinking.
- They solve problems by using their brains, not by violence,
and they prefer construction to destruction
- Their curiosity and love of learning remain insatiable, and
from knowledge and experience they become wise.
- They enjoy work, play and loving.
- As they grow older, their ego integrity prevails against
Immature Adults think that because
they are older and larger they should have every childish thing they
want, like 9-year-olds, and to hell with what it might do to anyone
vulnerable. Entertainment that caters to their tastes should be
classified as for Immature Adults, not for Mature Adults.
The present meaning that young people see is given to 'Mature Adult' is dangerously misleading. The
concept of 'Adulthood' as 'Whatever children should not do.' Many
suicidal young people have come to a dead end in childhood without a
transition to becoming adults who can face the challenges of the
world. Australian young people are handicapped by having no real idea
of how to grow up and become truly adult. They often remain immature
well beyond physical adulthood.
Everyone should have an idea of the concept of Social Age - of what behaviour is attributable
to people as they grow up and become wiser and more competent.
Knowledge of norms and social expectations governs much of people's
behavior. 'Everybody does it.' This is one reason why marital
breakdown and suicide are both infectious - copycat is a strong
Many societies have had rites of passage and other ways to help
and to signify that young people have become grown up. We are
singularly muddled in our messages for our youth, and could do much
to clear up the transition.
Entertainment Category for 'Teenagers aged
It may even turn out to be a good idea to relabel all 'for Mature
Audiences Only' entertainment as for 'Teenagers
aged 15-19 only'. Then adults still requiring coarse language,
explicit violence, voyeuristic sex and sadism and the thrill of being
disgusted would not be able to flatter themselves they are being
macho. They are watching stuff for kids.
Kids watching 'For Teenagers aged 15-19
only' would be aware that this was something they were having
as a stage (like kiddie's comics and teddy bears and balloons when
they were little.) It was not Grown Up, but more like Judge Dredd
comics and scribbling on walls. They could take it - and leave it. It
could be a stage, like pimples.
Misleading Labelling under the Trade
A Case for Reclassification of Categories of 'Mature Adult' and 'Parental Guidance Requested'
Any good lawyer should be able to claim successfully that the
entertainment classifications of 'Mature Adult' and 'Parental
Guidance Requested' are legally invalid. 'Mature Adult' is applied
misleadingly, and the 'Parental Guidance Requested' is impossible to
comply with unless drastic steps are taken.
Ask yourselves, your legislators, your media producers, your TV
Channels - all of you - to put out advice on how Parental Guidance can be supplied to any or
all of the programs and videos that children currently watch from
daybreak to midnight.
Parental Guidance for the Simpsons?
For Independence Day?
For the News?
For De Grassi High?
Programs showing parents supplying Parental
Guidance would hit the comedy spots of the year. Full
Frontal could have a ball.
See ways to Become an Adult, and Initiation Ceremonies, as part of Ceremonies for this Millennium