Rated Ma Meaning

Rated Ma Meaning: Understanding the Content Rating System

As you browse through different forms of media, such as movies, television shows, and video games, you may have noticed the small amusing notations on the packaging or title screens that say “Rated MA”. What does it mean? Does it indicate that the content is unsuitable for children, or does it signify something else entirely? In this article, we will explore the meaning of “Rated MA” sort out facts from myths and shed light on the importance of the content rating system.

What does “Rated MA” mean?

“Rated MA” stands for “Mature Audience.” The “Mature” rating categorizes specific content that is not suitable for younger viewers. The content has violent, sexual, or otherwise explicit material that young viewers could find distressing or confusing. In particular, the “Rated MA” category targets audiences aged 17 and older. This rating is not to be confused with the “R” or “Restricted” rating category which invites only viewers aged 18 and older.

What is the content rating system?

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) administers the content rating system. The MPAA is an independent organization that provides voluntarily registered content ratings following a rating criteria system that includes the age appropriateness, language, sex, and violence for films. The system aims to provide clarity to viewers about the type of content they will encounter in a particular title, even before they watch it.

Other organizations that administer content rating systems for television series and video games include the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board (TVPG) and the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) respectively. Each organization has different rating categories, but the rationale is similar: to help viewers determine whether a specific title is appropriate for them.

Content rating categories and what they mean

Each content rating category has specific definitions, indicating the type of material contained within the media file. Understanding these categories’ basic concepts can guide your decision-making process, allowing you to make age and content-appropriate choices for your viewing habits. Here are some of the most common content rating categories and their meanings:

– Rated G – General Audience: Viewable to any public member, without restriction, parents should be warned that younger children may require guidance based on the material’s nature.
– Rated PG – Parental Guidance Suggested: Content that may contain mild-language and violence but is still acceptable for younger audiences with parental guidance.
– Rated PG-13 – Parental Guidance Suggested for children under thirteen: Content that may contain inappropriate language, mild sexuality, and violence that is not suitable for children under thirteen years of age.
– Rated MA – Mature Audience: Content that is clearly unsuitable for viewers under seventeen years of age due to the explicit content.
– Rated R – Restricted: Content that is only for those aged eighteen years and older, requiring identification at the point of purchase, and may have adult themes such as extreme violence and sexual content.

Why is the content rating system important?

The significance of the content rating system cannot be overstated, particularly with the pervasiveness of digital technologies. With so much content available online, accessible from multiple sources, and as viewer choice increases, the need for an independent and universal content rating system has never been more critical. The content rating system helps facilitate a safer, more enjoyable media experience for viewers, lessening exposure to inappropriate content.

For parents, the content rating system helps inform families about what is suitable for their children’s viewing habits. The rating system is also useful to educators, librarians, and other professionals who may work with media and younger audiences. The rating system can help keep age and developmentally appropriate material circulating among media consumers, which in turn, strengthens social and cultural values and norms.

However, it’s worth noting that ratings systems are not foolproof tools. They cannot guarantee that a particular title will be suitable for everyone who views it. It’s worth remembering that ratings are only advisory, indicating what type of material may be present in a particular title. Therefore, it is always appropriate to exercise caution and discernment when viewing titles.


In summary, the “Rated MA” meaning is simply a content rating category for content intended for mature audiences aged 17 years and older. Understanding the content rating system not only promotes safe, age-appropriate media consumption habits, but it also encourages responsible media consumption. It is a tool for viewers to make informed decisions about what they consume at any given time.