Redbox Gives Kids Easy Access to R-Rated Movies

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The battle between teenagers trying to watch R-rated movies and parents trying to stop them from watching suggestive films has raged for decades.

However, new technology is beginning to tip the scales in favor of teens. Movie kiosks are making it easier than ever for kids to rent R-rated media.

Easy Access

There are more than 27,000 Redbox kiosks nationwide. For two-thirds of all Americans, there's a kiosk just five minutes from home.

And all it takes to rent a movie is a credit card.

The movie company is known for convenience, but are the popular kiosks making it too easy for kids to rent R-rated movies?

All you have to do is chose a movie. Select "yes" to the question, "Are you older than 18?" Swipe your card and you've got your movie, whether you're old enough to be watching it or not.

"The thing is it doesn't really matter what your age range is. It just matters if you have the money," 13-year-old Tyler Lynch told ABC's "Good Morning America."

So is it Redbox's responsibility to crack down on children renting R-rated movies -- or the parents'?

Redbox says the responsibility lies with the parents.

"Whether renting movies online, from a kiosk, from a store or purchasing content from the web, parental supervision is the most important factor," the company said in a statement.

Family media expert Bob Waliszewski agrees.

"I cant imagine a system that's not going to be pretty easy to beat," he said. "If they say, 'Well, we're going to require a drivers license that you're going to put in a scanner of some kind.' Then the kid's going to borrow a friends drivers license. There's going to be many ways to beat the system."

"So even though I'd like to see Redbox be a little stronger and more stringent in the system, I think it still goes back down to parents ultimately on this one, because it's going to be way too easy to beat," Waliszewski added.

"It's quite frightening actually to be a parent of a teenager in today's society," explained Benjiman Kirven, the family life minister at the Bayside Church of Christ in Virginia Beach, Va.

"I'm always happy when companies choose to help me out as a parent and restrict my children from questionable content," he added. "But of course, I think it's always a parent's responsibility to guard what goes into their children's heart and mind."

PG-13 -- Just as Bad?

Waliszewski says it's important to keep in mind how harmful watching films with adult material can be. And he warns that it's not just R-rated films that parent's need to be monitoring.

"Some of the raunchiest stuff out there gets a PG-13 these days. The studies have shown that kids that are consuming that are taking it to heart and are actually acting out in sexual ways. Parents are concerned about that but often times they go 'OK, anything PG-13 and below you can watch. Just don't go to any R,' he said.

"I want to say, 'No parents.' Get into that world. Find out what's in that PG-13 movie," Waliszewski continued.

"My kids are always quick to say to me, 'Well, Dad it's not like we don't run into this at school or out in the rest of the culture.' And that's true to some extent, but especially on the younger side, parents like to. have control of the context of which things are introduced to our kids," Kirven said.

With such easy access to what could be harmful material, parent's should be extra vigilant. It's important to ask questions and play a part in what your children are watching and renting.

Just last year, an Indiana prosecutor fought to have all R-rated movies removed from Redbox kiosks.

He cited a law that bans providing harmful material to children.

The case was dropped because of a lack of support.

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Caitlin Burke

Caitlin Burke

CBN News Producer

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