"American Horror Story"
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Parents Guide for
"American Horror Story" (2011) More at IMDbPro »

The content of this page was created directly by users and has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.
Since the beliefs that parents want to instill in their children can vary greatly, we ask that, instead of adding your personal opinions about what is right or wrong in a film, you use this feature to help parents make informed viewing decisions by describing the facts of relevant scenes in the title for each one of the different categories: Sex and Nudity, Violence and Gore, Profanity, Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking, and Frightening/Intense Scenes.
Visit our Parents Guide Help to learn more

Sex & Nudity

Overall - 8/10

American Horror Story has frequent strong sex and sexual references throughout. However, in the case of nudity, it does its best to hide anything 100% explicit. There are many instances where we almost see male or female genitalia and female nipples, but the shot always manages to cover them up just barely. Nonetheless, very hard and graphic when it comes to sexual content and it does show male and female buttocks a great deal.


Murder House - 7/10 - features several sex scenes including thrusting and moaning. These scenes include implied oral sex and lesbian sex. Other sexual scenes are of male and female masturbation. Sexual content can be strong, however it is generally brief and non-explicit. That said, there are also several nude scenes, mostly male buttocks.

There are a few rape scenes and scenes of sexual threat during the season, however they are non-explicit and generally quite brief. These include a man violently raping his maid before being interrupted, a man raping an unconscious woman, a man forcing a woman to undress for him, and a woman being raped by a wearing a rubber suit (who she believes to be her husband). Rape is often an important plot point.

Sexual references are very frequent and can be quite explicit.


Asylum - 8/10 - features more frequent and more explicit sex scenes. Some of these show brief nudity and include thrusting and moaning. Sex scenes have included strong oral sex scenes. Male and female masturbation is portrayed graphically in several scenes, without nudity.

Nudity is quite frequent, but generally brief, however a few scenes can be quite extended. Male and female buttocks are clearly seen several times, and obscured or blurry views of female breasts and genitals can be seen.

There are a few scenes depicting rape or sexual abuse, including a woman being forced to fondle a nude man whilst masturbating, a nude man violently raping a woman, a woman recalls being raped by her father, a man removing his shirt and caressing a nude female corpse, a man forcibly sucking a woman's breast, a woman being forced to kiss a corpse, a man attempting to rape a screaming woman, a woman raping a man, and a man having intercourse with a dead body. Some rape scenes include nudity.

Very disturbing scene of a lesbian woman being forced to masturbate to naked men to 'cure' her.

Sexual references are very frequent and often very explicit.

A man is diagnosed as a chronic masturbator and we see him violently masturbating in a few scenes. However, his genitals are not shown.


Coven - 7/10 - takes a more graphic point when it comes to sexual content.

So far there has been some rapes (episode 1 has a graphic one), graphic sex scenes, and brief instances of nudity, mostly male and female buttocks.

There is a violent sex scene involving a ritual for fertility, implied threesomes, cunnilingus, oral sex, while there are a range of disturbing themes such as incest, rape, necrophilia, bestiality, sexually-based punishments, and aberrant content.

There are many strong crude sexual references used. In one episode, Madison tells Zoe that Kyle should instead be watching porn and "jerking off".

Marie frequently calls the Coven "whores" and "sluts".

A woman asks another woman for two ounces of her husband's semen (said as 'baby juice') in a mason jar; it is shown in a dream sequence.

Madison and many members of the Coven are shown in revealing clothing or in a bra and panties.

There is a disturbing violent sex scene involving a ritual for fertility. fertility, A woman and a man cut their fingers and spread blood around them. They get nude and begin having sex. The man's buttocks are shown as well as her bare legs, his legs and his chest, and an extremely quick glimpse of her chest. When he climaxes, there is a loud, echoed moan from both of them.

A teenage girl walks in on a teenage boy and a teenage girl having sex; all that is seen is the teenage boy's buttocks as he thrusts into the teenage girl, who is up against a closet.

There is an implied threesome between threesomes, cunnilingus, a teenager boy, a teenage girl and another teenage girl. They go to the bed, talk, one of the teenage girl's robe falls to her feet (the view is seen from under the bed), and the scene ends.

Fiona and the Axeman have sex. It is a blurry scene and it looks like she is having cunnilingus performed on her. The next day she is shown in a brassiere and the Axeman In boxers and an undershirt.

There is a brief flashback showing a man cheating on his wife. The wife walks into his office to see a woman performing oral sex on him sex, while there at his desk. No nudity is shown but it is very clear what is going on. You can see the woman's head moving and the man breathing heavily.

A teenage boy is repeatedly raped by his mother. It's extremely disturbing.

A teenage girl is drugged and gang raped by a group of people at a Fraternity. Also disturbing.

Violence & Gore


Overall, the show contains very strong violence, with detailed bloody and gory images. Some of the violent sequences and gore are brief, while others are prolonged and very graphic.


Murder House - 7/10 Contains strong violence, however it is infrequent. Violence is often very bloody and gory, but can be quite comical in tone at times. For the the most part, however, the violence is very disturbing and intense.

Violent scenes include graphic shootings, stabbings, axe murders, car accidents, mauling, self-harm, immolation, hangings, and beatings.

A disturbing sub-plot involves a baby being dismembered and sewn back together. A bloody birth sequence is shown.

Several rape scenes take place. Many dead bodies are shown and can be very disturbing.

Ghosts sometimes have graphic injuries that are often very gory and horrific. Murder is a constant theme and many murder scenes are depicted, and some are quite sadistic.

The level of violence differs between episodes.


Asylum - 8/10 Contains more graphic violence than season one. Violence is often much more disturbing and darker than the previous season, and is generally more bloody and gory. Because the violence often takes place in a much more realistic setting, it is harder to watch.

Violent scenes include graphic stabbings, dismemberment, mutilations, shootings, medical procedures, self-harm, demonic possession, axe murders, and beatings.

Many deformed cannibalistic creatures can be seen.

A very explicit and gory sequence shows a woman murdering her family with an axe. Dead bodies are sometimes seen.

Very graphic disturbing images are seen.

Scenes of rape and sexual abuse are occasional.

A plot involving a brutal serial killer who uses the bodies of their victims as furniture contains many shocking and disturbing elements. Several characters are very sadistic and often inflict pain for fun.

Most episodes contain graphic violence.


Coven - 7/10 is extremely violent, with the graphic content varying per episode. There are many stabbings, throat slittings, rape, rituals that involve the need of blood, self-dismemberment, animal violence, shootings, being burned to the stake, being revived from the dead, graphic dismemberment, decapitations, torture, and cruelty, eye gouging and being burned with acid.

The sacrifice of an infant may be very upsetting to more sensitive viewers.

In a disturbing sequence, prisoners have their eyes and mouths stitched shut, eyes removed, nearly stabbed to death, chained up and beaten, have their heads removed and replaced by animal heads; this whole display is extremely disturbing and sadistic. A character is also shown shown using a homemade beauty mask made of her victims' blood.


Overall - 8/10

Frequent use of profanity only excluding 'F' and 'C words (due to being on prime-time television). Religious profanities, anatomical, and scatological terms are used often. The "finger" has been used in a couple episodes.

Overall, 7/10

Murder House - 7/10, shows teenagers smoking cigarettes and snorting cocaine. Adults also drink and smoke. _______________________________________________________________________________________

Asylum - 7/10, shows frequent cigarette smoking, as well as alcohol use. A major character is an alcoholic and is often seen drinking. Medical drugs are used. Crack cocaine usage by a main character in the later episodes. _______________________________________________________________________________________

In Coven - 7/10, a character abuses cocaine on occasion, frequent cigarette smoking, drinking, and partying.


American Horror Story is essentially a TV series that serves as a horror film/miniseries. It deals with many themes, all of which are handled maturely, but the themes are often unsettling and may upset some people. Violence can be very graphic and intense, and several scenes/story lines will be disturbing to some. AHS is about as violent/disturbing as the average horror film, but tackles more complex and horrific themes/elements.

Season 1: Murder House often takes a very tongue-in-cheek approach.

Season 2: Asylum is much darker, violent and disturbing.

Season 3: Coven has a lighter tone, and although still violent, is not as scary as the first two seasons. Some say it's more aimed at teens.


FX Rating: TV-MA for Language, Sexual Content, Violence, and Nudity.

Suggested ratings:

Murder House: Rated R for disturbing violent and sexual content, nudity, strong images of teen self harm, strong language and drug use - some involving teens.

Asylum: Rated R for graphic bloody horror violence, strong aberrant sexual content, disturbing images, some nudity, and strong language.

Coven: Rated R for strong bloody violence and gore, sexuality/nudity and strong language - some involving teens.


Murder House: For ages 15+ Asylum: For ages 16+ Coven: For ages 14+

Page last updated by DarraghQ, 1 day ago
Top 5 Contributors: huntergray-1, Conor97, awesomespinner, killercroc21, rvnj729

Brazil:16 (some episodes) / Brazil:18 (some episodes) / Canada:14A / Canada:13+ (Quebec) / Netherlands:16 / New Zealand:R16 (DVD rating) (Season 1) / New Zealand:R18 (DVD rating) (Season 2) / Singapore:PG13 (edited TV version) / USA:TV-MA

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