Skip to comments.Study Links TV to Teen Sexual Activity
Posted on 09/07/2004 5:44:38 AM PDT by Pharmboy
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Teenagers who watch a lot of television with sexual content are twice as likely to engage in intercourse than those who watch few such programs, according to a study published on Tuesday.
The study covered 1,792 adolescents aged 12 to 17 who were quizzed on viewing habits and sexual activity and then surveyed again a year later. Both regular and cable television were included.
"This is the strongest evidence yet that the sexual content of television programs encourages adolescents to initiate sexual intercourse and other sexual activities," said Rebecca Collins, a psychologist at the RAND Corp. who headed the study.
"The impact of television viewing is so large that even a moderate shift in the sexual content of adolescent TV watching could have a substantial effect on their sexual behavior," she added.
The study found that youths who watched large amounts of programming with sexual content were also more likely to initiate sexual activities short of intercourse, such as oral sex.
It found that shows where sex was talked about but not depicted had just as much impact as the more explicit shows. "Both affect adolescents' perceptions of what is normal sexual behavior and propels their own sexual behavior," Collins said.
She said the 12-year-olds who watched a lot of sexual content behaved like the 14- or 15-years-olds who watched the least amount. "The advancement in sexual behavior we saw among kids who watched a lot of sexual television was striking."
Her comments were released in a statement in conjunction with publication of the study in the September issue of "Pediatrics," the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The survey did not break down the amount of sexual exposure in terms of hours per week or percentages of material viewed, Collins said in an interview.
It did find that the 10 percent of those who watched the most television with sexual content were twice as likely to have initiated sexual intercourse when checked a year later than adolescents who were among the 10 percent who watched the least amount of sexual content.
"The best way for parents who are trying to figure out what is a lot versus little is to realize that the average (U.S.) child watches about three hours of television a day, and that the heaviest rates of sexual content are in prime time which is probably what those hours are made of," she said.
The report said earlier studies found that about two-thirds of TV entertainment programs contain sexual content, ranging from jokes and innuendo to intercourse and other behaviors.
The study was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
This really should come as a surprise to no one...
Wow . . . more stop-the-presses information from the Masters of the Obvious. This just in: smoking cigarettes isn't good for you.
bump for wednesday update lead story.
It's up to the parents to monitor what their children watch. Why are 12-year-olds watching shows with heavy sexual content in the first place?
I knew there was a reason I watched Charlie's Angels, Policewoman, Three's Company, etc...
Did you hate it evey week?
Hell, I sure am glad my kids school hands out condoms daily or I might have a problem brewing here.
Well I'll be...
To quote Basil Faulty..."they should be on mastermind...special subject the bleedin' obvious!"
Unless you're ready to stop electricity to the house.
Another reason why I am glad we have had no TV in the house for the last couple of years. 99.99% garbage.
"That's why I ALWAYS have hated Friends: non-stop sexual banter."
Though I always enjoyed Seinfeld, both Jerry and George were boffing a different attractive woman every week, and telling nonstop lies to boot.
"That's why I ALWAYS have hated Friends: non-stop sexual banter. Yecchh.
This really should come as a surprise to no one..."
Thanks for saying it better than I ever could have! 'Friends' had to be one of the dumber shows on the air...and was hugely popular to the young people. And the actors were actually earning $1 million each a week at the end of the series! ALL of which they each gave to various charities supporting the poor and downtrodden.
Al though Seinfeld certainly dealt with sexual content at times, it was by no means non-stop. And, their stuff was clever.
Anything from Reuters doesn't pass the smell test.
Yet another mere coincidence
Yeah, the cars were nice...
My brother and I weren't allowed to watch Batman and the Three Stooges when we were kids because we always tried to poke an eye out and BLAM each other after watching but we didn't throw pies.
A great philosopher and studyer of the human condition once said: Monkey see, monkey do.
Well, no. But it seems that people need A Study before they think up excuses for denying the obvious. They've got the study now....
I was shocked when my 16 year old niece told me that she and her 12 year old sister watched "Nip/Tuck" on FX regularly, along with the adults in her family. The mother and father wonder why she was already sexually active. Duh...
I could have told you this 25 years ago!
Dang! I'm 44 years old and still too young to watch that drivel. That's just downright irresponsible.
True, but one HUGE difference between Seinfeld and Friends is that Seinfeld was actually FUNNY.
The times I was pretty much forced to watch Friends, I found very little of it, if any at all, to be the least bit humorous. The whole ridiculous premise of a group of six loafing, jobless Generation Xers was accentuated by the world's most annoying theme song. One note and it's stuck in your head for hours. Even discussing it is making me try in vain to purge it from my thoughts!
I've never been able to figure out the draw of that show. Schwimmer's whining, LeBlanc's inane, stupid wisecracks and the other guy's general stupidity completely cancelled out the fact that the women are fairly attractive and thereby, somewhat entertaining.
Also, Seinfeld was just so completely unreal in its context, whereas Friends actually made an attempt at presenting a sense of reality in the sexual exploits.
The sad thing is that Friends ends up on just about everyone's list of "Greatest SITCOMs of All Time". How, I'll never know....
Mighty decent of them to point this out to us (voice drips with sarcasm)
Two words: "Dippy broads."
My 1st thought on the issue: I agree w/ much of what's said here; it reinforces our decision to make the house of Bruck a TV-free zone, at least while the kids are in it.
2nd thought on the issue: don't confuse causality with coincidence. Kids who grow up in households where inappropriate TV is not condoned are more likely to be exposed to higher standards of morality in general. IOW, one cause unerlies two effects.
Who says television isn't educational?
These kids have gained two whole grades on the non-watchers.
Naked is only bad if the wrong people walk in unexpectedly.
'twont happen. The trial lawyers are on the same side as the perverts.
Actually, children learn by example. If the parents didn't sit in front of the tv watching this stuff, the kids wouldn't either.
Because parents have to work, and kids are left alone way too much. Now that 'friends' has gone into syndication, we can see it all day long too.
Oh...they find this stuff on their own and what they hear from their (pardon the expression) friends.
nothing sexual about the Beverly Hillbillies, or Petticoat Junction or Gilligan's Island that's for sure. Unless beautiful women with huge firm breasts, low cut tops and tight pants are sexy.
Wow, you had some mean parents.
Dennis Prager had an excellent article about how children are being exploited by liberals
I didn't like Seinfeld. It was a show about people always trying to con other people.
The last episode made good sense to me.
This is one reason I like Stargate so much right now after just discovering it. All of the actors are adults, and there is very little sexual content. Hoping it stays that way. *crosses fingers* It seems the shows with the yuppies or teens have more sexual stuff.
I've never watched Friends as from what I've seen the characters are terminally stupid. I watched about 10 minutes of Nip/Tuck a few weeks ago, but the sexual content was disgusting, so I turned it off!
Last week I was channel surfing and came across Nip/Tuck for the first time. Within 30 seconds, some guy was having very graphic sex with a sex doll. I though I had accidentally ordered HBO. It was unreal.