CAP Movie Ministry
a ministry of the ChildCare Action Project:
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP) Ministry


This section presents a brief description of how copyrighted CAP investigations and analyses are conducted. Discussion includes:
  • the CAP Numeric Analysis Model (the CAP Model)
  • objectivity/subjectivity
  • the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model (the CAP Media Model)
  • and the Influence Density of the subject of investigation and analysis



CAP investigations and analyses are conducted using the CAP Numeric Analysis Model, or the CAP Model. The CAP Model is applicable to any system or vehicle which imparts information to an observer which requires the observer to learn or to form an opinion, or which elicits emotion(s) or value judgment(s) in the observer.

During the development of the CAP Numeric Analysis Model, the developer observed our culture and society for examples of unacceptable activities and behavior -- unacceptable in accordance with the teachings of Jesus -- examples of activities and behavior which are potentially destructive to wholesome morals, values, and principles. At developement's end, the examples of unacceptable activities and behavior were incorporated into the CAP system as Investigation Standards.  The Investigation Standards were partitioned into six Investigation Areas:

Wanton Violence/Crime
Sexual Immorality
Offense to God

An Investigator will observe relatively closed cultural or societal engines for occurences of the Investigation Standards. Annotation of findings is performed using detailed recording instruments. The Investigator will then input his/her findings into a computer system. The computer system is designed to generate a numeric score in each of the six Investigation Areas plus a unique statistical average. The higher the CAP score the greater the moral acceptability of the cultural entity under investigation. The display medium used to communicate CAP scoring is a series of six thermometers, one for each of the six Investigation Areas. Examples of the thermometric display tool are provided in each Entertainment Media Analysis Report in CAP Reports. The higher the CAP score (the greater the moral acceptability), the taller the vertical bar representing the mercury in the thermometer.

The maximum score any entity under investigation can receive is 100. As examples of the Investigation Standards are encountered or observed, points are subtracted from the starting 100 points of the appropriate Investigation Area. While an example of unacceptable activity or behavior may seem to fit into more than one Investigation Area, the CAP Model will permit subtraction of the points from only a single appropriate Investigation Area: no duplication is assured. Depending upon the severity of the example of unacceptable activity or behavior, a minimum of one point and a maximum of three points per example may be subtracted from the 100 starting points of the single appropriate Investigation Area. While it is mathematically possible for the observed entity to receive a CAP score of much less than zero in any Investigation Area, the model is programmed to display zero for all scores equal to or less than zero. To display scores less than zero in this model would be essentially meaningless.

The CAP hundred-scale scoring cannot be equated to a letter grade. Just because an observed entity earns a CAP score of, for example, 97 does not mean it earned an "A." That a cultural or societal entity earns a CAP score less than 100 means unacceptable activites and/or behavior is/are present! Also, the loss of the three points may be due to three individual examples of moral turpitude, or the loss of the three points may be due to a single extermely graphic example.

There is little room for subjectivity in the CAP system. A single instance of graphic and explicit sexual contact at school will not reduce the final CAP score any more than would a single instance of murder by mutilation or a single instance of a child screaming obscenities at his/her parent.



The CAP Model relies on fact, not speculation -- it is as objective as any human evaluation system can be. Either an example of unacceptable activity or behavior was present during the investigation or it was not. The CAP Model makes no attempt to evaluate whether any justification for an unacceptable activity/behavior was present.

However, any evaluation involving human factors must provide allowances for subjectivity. The CAP provides for a certain amount of subjectivity to account for varying degrees of severity of unacceptable activity/behavior. For example, witnessing after-the-fact an act of violence is not as graphically extreme as witnessing the mechanism and/or instrument of violence in action. Each example that is so graphically extreme must be given more weight against compliance with Christian ethics because of the more severe impact on the observer. The Investigator is therefore permitted to account for severity by assigning a point loss from one to three points as described earlier.


(the CAP Media Model)

The first objective of the CAP is to scientifically prove a symbiosis between entertainment media preferences of youth and the relationship of youth with fair authority (parental, exofamilial, other youth). To do this, investigations were begun into the impact of the entertainment media using the CAP Numeric Analysis Model (the CAP Model). Using the CAP Model to analyze the impact of the entertainment media gave birth to the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model (the CAP Media Model). New objectives will be added to the CAP goal as funding permits. The ultimate number of objectives applicable to CAP Model analysis is nearly limitless.

Thirty-nine randomly selected, feature length, non-cartoon movies were investigated for counterproductive inlfuence using the CAP Media Model. The sampling included 12 movies from each of the R*, PG-13 and PG movie ratings, and three from the G rating. The CAP shall not analyze NC-17 (previously X) rated movies or more extreme material. It is assumed these media possess the capability to significantly corrupt or contaminate the values of the observer.
* G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17 are registered trademarks of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

The high and low scoring movie from each of the R, PG-13, and PG rating set were discarded. Discarding the high and low score in a statistical analysis model is a standard technique to compensate for Gaussian skewing in the material under investiagtion,the model and the investigator. This action left 10 movies in each of the R, PG-13, and PG rating sets. Only three movies comprised the G set and the high and low scoring movies in the G set were not discarded for two reasons:
  • feature length, non-cartoon G-rated movies were hard to find (see Where's The G?), and
  • three scores were enough to confidently confirm the scoring projections made from analysis of the R, PG-13, and PG rating sets. Put another way, once the R, PG-13, and PG movies were analyzed and the scoring ranges for those three data sets were identified , the remaining possible scoring range logically comprised the G-rated set scoring range. Indeed, the CAP scores of the three G-rated movies fell perfectly within the scoring projections for G-rated movies.
The data revealed by the analysis of the remaining 33 movies comprised the comparative baseline database. The six discarded scores were not incorporated into the CAP Model mathematic operations. Provided in Figure 1 is a graphic of the data revealed.

Figure 1

The data, sorted on CAP Final Score, revealed a remarkable linearity! Digression of morality content revealed by the CAP scoring system was of almost perfect uniformity from the G-rated movies down to the R-rated movies. Of particluar note is the slope of the scoring columns from 100 for Mary Poppins (G) to 25 for The Specialist (R). A straight line between the two extreme points is mathmatically in proximity of the tops of each scoring column. Note also the slope of a line connecting the average scores for the G (94), PG (77.2), PG-13 (61.5), and R (44.6) data sets. As further evidence of the linearity and integrity of the CAP Analysys Model, the data set averages are each within one point of a 16-point separation:

  • G | PG: 94.0 - 77.2 = 16.8 (0.8 point above)
  • PG | PG-13: 77.2 - 61.6 = 15.6 (0.4 point below)
  • PG-13 | R: 61.6 - 44.6 = 17.0 (1.0 point above)

    averaging less than one point (0.73) from the uniform 16-point separation mark. Both slopes are evidence of uniformity; uniformity which cannot be manufactured by this analysis model but demonstrates its integrity.

    The CAP scoring to MPAA Rating Relational Scale shown in Figure 2 was developed from the revealed uniformity in digression of earned scores.

    Figure 2

    Figure 2 provides further evidence of the linearity and uniformity of the CAP scoring system applied to the entertainment media. The overlap between sections is minimal. Only one point of 31 is common to the PG and the PG-13 sets. And only three points of 43 are vacant between the PG-13 and R sets.

    This relationship indicates that any entertainment programming which receives a score in one of the CAP scoring ranges should be considered equivalent in morality content to the indicated MPAA rating whether evaluated by the MPAA or not. This was tested during model development with a broadcast TV episode of Power Rangers.  The episode investigated by the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model received a score of 56 which was very close to the cell boundary between PG-13 and R (53/54)! While few people if any (so far) agree that Power Rangers should be rated PG-13 let alone R, a pair of Denmark parents would agree. Their two-year old child was killed by older children pretending to be Power Rangers characters!

    Observers should consider that if any of the six Investigation Area scores fall within the range of scores equivalent to R-rated material, the entire movie should be considered R-rated. Even if five of the six Investigation Area scores indicate material equivalent to G-rated material, the single Investgation Area score equivalent to R-rated material indicates material is present typically found in R-rated movies!

    The utility of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model is in its applicability to any entertainment media whether rated by the MPAA or not. If an MPAA-rated program and a non-rated program each earn the same CAP score, then both programs should be considered as having the same impact on morality.  For example, if an R-rated program and a non-rated program each earn a CAP score of 42, then the non-rated program should be expected to have the same level of moral turpitude as the R-rated program -- they both should be rated R -- since the same measurement system was applied to both programs. This is the basis for conducting investigations into television, music, and other media, which is exactly what we intend to do if we can find funding.

    In addition to the features discussed so far, the CAP Media Model provides a rate of examples of unacceptable material in terms of examples per hour. For example, if a 110-minute movie presents 32 examples of unacceptable material, the CAP Media Model computes the examples per hour [60/110]*32 = 17.5.

    While the number of examples of unacceptable material per hour is a useful tool, it indicates only the frequency the observer is exposed to the unaceptable material -- it does not account of the severity of the examples observed, specifically, the density of unacceptable material.



    The main feature of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model (CAP Media Model) is that it provides a numeric score in six Investigation Areas plus a unique statistical average of the Investigation Area scores. These numbers provide basis for comparison and to indicate the relative morality content of a media or program. In addition, the CAP Media Model provides the frequency of examples of material in contradiction with Christian ethics in terms of examples per hour. While this term is useful in and of itself, it provides only the raw count of examples per hour. The examples per hour figure does not represent the severity of impact of the examples of unacceptable material as a whole -- i.e., the density of the inlfuence of the unacceptable material.

    Consider the following.
    1. Program A presented 6 examples of unacceptable material in 90 minutes. The frequency of examples of unacceptable material per hour would be 4 per hour ([60/90]*6 = 4). In this program, each example of unacceptable material warranted only the minimum loss of but one point (1+1+1+1+1+1 = 6). The count of unacceptable examples in the program would be 6 and the sum of points lost would be 6.

    2. Program B also presented 6 examples of unacceptable material in 90 minutes. Program B also has a 4 per hour frequency of unacceptable material. But in Program B, the first two examples of unacceptable material were of the extreme graphic nature and each warranted the maximum loss of three points for each of the two examples. The count of examples of unacceptable material would be the same (6) but the sum of the points lost would be 10 (3+3+1+1+1+1 = 10).
    A program with fewer examples of unacceptable material or one with examples of lesser severity will have less impact on the observer. Program A above would have less impact than Program B because the "density" of unacceptable material -- the inlfuence -- in Program A is less than Program B. The CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model computes the density of unacceptable material in a program and presents it as a number, i.e., the Influence Density (ID). The Influence Density figure presents another parameter for the parent to "ID" the movie.

    Figure 3 presents the Inlfuence Density figures for the 33 comparative baseline database movies used to build the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model.

    Figure 3

    In Figure 3, the data are sorted first by MPAA rating then by ascending ID score. The slope of this parameter further confirms the linearity and uniformity of the CAP Media Model. Figure 3 presents two graphs in one picture. The line with triangles as datapoints represents the actual ID scores. The four lines with diamonds as datapoints represent the minimum-to-maximum range in each of the four MPAA rating sets.

    To give you perspective, Mary Poppins,  the only movie of the 33 movies in the comparative baseline database to receive a CAP Final Score of 100, has the lowest ID score (zero). The movie The Specialist, which received the lowest CAP Final Score (25) in the comparative baseline database received the highest ID score of 2.04. New Crime City  which was one of the discarded scores, received a CAP Final Score of 16 and an ID score of 3.2.

    Finally, a precept of the CAP is that any entertainment programming that is unacceptable for children is unacceptable for adults.



    The features of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model are:
    • the CAP Investigation Area scores
    • the CAP Thermometers visual display
    • the CAP Final Score
    • the examples per hour figure
    • and the Influence Density
    These copyrighted tools provide a comprehensive mechanism for the parent to "ID" (identify) the morality content of a program like no other rating system can! And by using the teachings of Jesus as the investigation standards! The CAP Analysis Model provides you with the information you need to help you be in a better postition to make an informed moral decision whether an item of entertainment is fit.

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    ©1996 ChildCare Action Project:Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

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

    Thomas A. Carder

    Since December 5, 2000