Jan. 17 (UPI) -- The British Board of Film Classification has announced plans to offer tougher restrictions on films with rape scenes and sexual violence.
The new rules, announced by the BBFC on Wednesday and will go into effect on Feb. 28 and will give films with rape scenes and sexual violence a 15 rating, for viewers 15 years old and up.
Previously, a film such as The Duchess from 2008 that featured a rape scene, received a 12 rating.
The BBFC said the changes are being made in response to research that suggests attitudes towards sexual threats and violence have changed. The BBFC also said that viewers have asked for films with certain depictions of rape to receive more mature ratings.
"We're here to listen to what people want, which is why they trust our age ratings. So it's encouraging to know that we've been classifying content in line with what people want and expect when it comes to difficult themes around credible real life scenarios," BBFC chief executive officer David Austin said in a statement.
"We also know that people are more comfortable with issues such as action violence, if it's in a way that they are expecting - such as a Bond or Bourne film. We are updating our standards around depictions of sexual violence and very strong sex references to reflect changes in public attitudes," he continued.
The Classification and Ratings Administration in the U.S. states that a film containing sexually-oriented nudity will be given an R rating for viewers 17 years old and up. A PG-13 film may contain brief nudity but the nudity can not be sexually oriented.