Creative works should meet a lot of restrictions to fit into age limits (like, PG-.., 18+, etc). I don't want to discuss legal part of it, cause we can't do about the laws anything anyway, and are forced to obey them. Instead, I'm curious about inner meaning and significance of these restrictions, especially related to sex.
The problem is... I really can't get, what kind of moral trauma sex-related topics can cause to kids, if they are shown in adequate way? Talking from my own experience... for me in my childhood, puritanism of my family turned out to be much more harmful and traumatic that even explicit porn. Moreover, porn helped me to understand people's intimate life more adequately, so I stopped be disturbed and anxious about it.
More detailed story about my childhood experience - long read, NSFW
From a very young age I was (of course) very curious, how children are made. But (of course) everything, related to sex, was forbidden to me. In all books about anatomy or biology, explanation of this question contained a big lacuna. They wrote, that woman's and man's gamete should meet inside of a woman's body and then the fetus starts to develop. But they never wrote, how these cells meet. So I walked and annoyed parents about this question, untill one member of my family gave me an explanation.
Her explanation was very sketchy and full of shame and disgust, and I concluded that sex is something very disgusting from it. Actually, for some reason all her explanations, which included anything, connected to genitalia, were somewhat... dirty and unpleasant, like these parts of body are something bad. As a result, I've even avoided to look at my own pussy, so deeply I was convinced that my pussy is ugly and nasty. When I had to clean this part of my body in bath, I did it very quickly and with shame, without even looking on it. And, of course, I had even worse opinion about boys genitalia, even despite I never saw them in detail - only very sketchy shy picture in the textbook. But I was just sure, that IRL they are horrible.
No wonder, that after such an explanations I've become very sex-negative. In the same time I've seen everywhere, that love between man and woman is admired. And also that man and woman, who love each other, usually make children. I.e. their "beautiful" feeling makes them go through "disgusting" process. It was a clear contradiction.
I always was very anxious about all kinds of logical contradictions, and annoyed other people about them, so they would help me to resolve them. When this anxiety was about contradictions in my homework (like, my answer didn't meet the correct answer, but I didn't understand, why), adults explained things and helped to resolve it. They considered it like an interest to studying and usually approved this interest. But nobody wanted to resolve my disturbance about the sexual life of people.
When I asked relatives, why people do such a "disgusting" thing like sex, they usually answered, that these people just fulfil shameful, despicable need, and it's just something like going to the toilet. And I shouldn't talk or think about such a shameful things. In the worst case, they just refused to answer, went mad at me and called me indecent. But nobody explained (clearly existing) connection between "beautiful" love and "ugly" sex. Some of my relatives even denied such a connection(!).
I seriously suffered from such an unresolvable contradiction. I worried a lot, everytime when I've seen the couple on the street, or just thought about what my own parents do when I don't see them. I was very anxious about how can they love each other and make "something bad" with each other in the same time. Seriously, this "contradiction" really disturbed me, until I've finally watched a porn, when I was nearly 11.
This was a well-done porn, with a girl and two guys. They had a good bodies, all genitalia were clean and shaved, so I've looked at them and... started to doubt, is there anything really nasty or ugly in these parts of bodies? They looked just... ok. Also when they fucked that girl, they all were seemingly happy, especially the girl. So I condluded that maybe... just maybe... people do sex just because they enjoy it very much?!! And they do it with what they love because they want to share the pleasure with the person, who they like?
Yes, it's Capitan Obvious, but for 11y.o. me it was a great discover. I quickly stopped watch the video, cause "thanks" to my religious parents, I was sure that watching porn is forbidden by God ( LOL ). But, at least, I've started to understand that sex isn't necessarily disgusting thing and stopped to worry about "contradiction" so much. Watching this fucking video was really a relief. I've continued to think that sex with anybody, besides a husband is a sin, but not because sex itself is nasty. Instead, after this video, I've started to perceive Christian attitude toward sex like a part of Christian asketism, as just one more pleasure restrictions.
So, I didn't have sex myself, untill I've dissapointed in religion and its restrictions.
Of course, there are a lot of bad depictions of sex, which can cause disgust and create wrong image of it. I agree, that bad or too specific porn or erotic sometimes may somewhat confuse young minds. But I'm convinced that not ALL NSFW content is wrong or (moreover) traumatic.
As my example shows, hiding everything related to sex (except very shy and confusing explanation with a clear message that it is a “shameful” thing), at least sometimes may turn out to be much more traumatic for the child, and cause them much more worrying.
I know that explicit porn is not suitable for everyone, because people in general are too sensitive to explicit things, and different people may perceive them very differently - from excitement to rejection. But... there are a lot of shades between the porn and full lack of sex.
Is there really no way to show non-explicitly and unobtrusively in a creative work for all-ages, that sex exist and it's not something to worry about, but just a usual part of adults people's life? And people talk about it less openly not because it's something nasty, but just it's something too personal and intimate for many of them? Aren't we throwing away the baby with the bathwater with these restrictions?
Again, I understand that laws are the laws and not going to go against it. I'm just... thinking.
UPD: Summing up the subtotal after the discussion below...
I've understood that most of the participants of this topic claim, that responsibility on sex education should lie on the shoulders of parents and teachers, not creators of children media. Because different kids are ready for understanding such a things in different age, and they need individual approach.
I've understood this position and recognize it's benefits. I agree, that such a sensitive topics may be understood better, if they are explained individually, in the right moment. (moreover, it is the only safe option to follow in the current situation with current laws about media!)
But, as many of you have probably understood, I'm talking from the position of the person, who hadn't any adults among my relatives, who could talk with me about it individually in adequate way. And I hadn't sex education classes in school either. That's why I think that it would be better to have an alternative sources of adequate information for children about it. And that's why I've started to think about the creative works, as one of a possible sources of it.