Skip to comments.Sexually Suggestive Movies Profoundly Affect Teens
Posted on 08/17/2012 10:25:19 AM PDT by Kaslin
Culture Challenge of the Week: Movies "Selling" Sex to Children
Can you name the last five movies your teenage son or daughter has watched with friends? How strong was the sexual content in those movies?
And does it really matter?
New research suggests that it does. The study, conducted by Dr. Ross O'Hara and soon to be published in the journal Psychological Science, found that promiscuity on-screen promotes promiscuity in real life. "Adolescents who are exposed to more sexual content in movies start having sex at younger ages, have more sexual partners," and engage in riskier sexual activities says Dr. O'Hara.
While at Dartmouth University, Dr. O'Hara (now a researcher at the University of Missouri) and his team analyzed the movie-watching patterns of about 1,200 young teens, ages 12-14. Researchers next analyzed the teens' sexual behavior six years later, considering the age at which they became sexually active, their number of partners, and the riskiness of their sexual activity, including whether or not they used contraceptives.
The result: bad news. Young teens who viewed movies with sexual content were profoundly influenced by what they watched. They initiated sexual behavior earlier than their peers who viewed less sexual content, and tended to imitate the on-screen sexual behaviors they saw-which included casual sex, multiple partners, and high-risk behaviors.
It's not surprising, really. Teens crave information about sex--and too often turn to the media for information. Moreover, adolescent hormones operate in overdrive and teens are naturally more sensitive to sexual stimulation. Less likely to delay gratification, teens are more likely to be impulsive and think themselves impervious to harm. The combination, researchers say, means that "sensation seeking, or the tendency to seek more novel and intense sexual stimulation" increases in teens who "watched more movies with sexually explicit content."
So what should parents do?
How to save your Family: Select Movies with Your Children
Dr. O'Hara sums it up well, saying, "This study, and its confluence with other work, strongly suggests that parents need to restrict their children from seeing sexual content in movies at young ages."
Agreed. But unfortunately, the solution is not as simple as checking a movie's rating. In fact, G-rated movies are part of the problem. The O'Hara study also analyzed the sexual content in 700 films, all top-grossing films from 1998-2004. Defining "sexual content" as anything from heavy kissing to actual sex scenes, researchers found sexual content in more than a third of the G-rated movies, more than half of PG-rated films, and four out of every five R-rated movies.
Short of prohibiting movies all together-an unwise and unworkable solution--there are some things a parent can do. First, use websites that provide specific information about movie content, rather than a reviewer's judgment about an appropriate viewing age.
Websites like Pluggedin.com and Movieguide provide not only specifics about movie content but also analysis from a Christian perspective. (PluggedIn offers reviews of music and gaming products as well.) Two straightforward secular sources are Screenit and Kids-in-mind-both provide valuable descriptions of specific movie content, including sexuality, violence, and language. One caution-a few websites, such as CommonSense Media, offer age-ratings to help guide parents. But organizations which lean left, as CommonSense Media does, or are tied in tightly with entertainment industry folks, can't be relied on by parents who want to raise children with traditional values. The Parent's Television Council at www.ParentsTV.org is an excellent resource for information on the content of popular TV shows and offers great movie reviews.
Second, talk with your children about sex. While sex won't be a casual dinnertime conversation topic, you need to create private time with your teens to explore their feelings and questions about sex. If we're silent, our teens will learn about sex from friends and the movies-a route that's sure to normalize sexual risk-taking.
Third, stay in the loop. Talk with other parents and get to know your teen's friends. Realize that at some point your child probably will see something too sexually explicit, whether at a friend's house or on a computer. Keep the conversations going and remind your teens that Hollywood is a world without consequences.
Of course they do. Common sense was ahead of psychological research.
Why do you think they are putting so many Homosexuals on TV these days.
They know kids are affected by it. It doesn’t take a study to know that, Porn is rampant it didn’t get that way because it doesn’t affect people.
Hollywood used to sell cigarettes and booze, now they sell drugs and sex.
I hook up due to “Something about Mary”.. lol.. tomfoolery..
I can help but wonder if it has more to do with the parents than the movies. Surly the parents of these children where the ones allowing them to watch the films to begin with. This sounds to me to be another excuse for bad parenting blame the movies and video games.
Bingo !! No wonder obammma was a shoe in. We didn’t need the idiot mccain, we could have run President Reagan. The media molds the youth. It’s now fine for two guys to make out center stage. I can hardly wait for the pony show to start
There are no more “sexually suggestive” movies.
They pretty much put all the sex right out there front and center, for all the world to see, in eye-popping 1080i.
I have no doubt it affects adults too. And I think about what we (virtually all of us I suspect) accept as fine and dandy in entertainment today. Check it out. You cannot watch much of anything (I would say anything but someone could probably produce something so I’ll hedge there) that doesn’t have some sexual component that would have been considered not acceptable for all audiences when I was a child (which really was not THAT long ago).
The culture has changed in a short 30 years into something I barely recognize and people in their lives now accept what when I was a kid was not considered acceptable. We look a lot more now, like what the movies were showing as cool, then.
How about all those slasher movies where the kids fornicate and then get hacked into pieces by the evil character like Jason??? Is that an accidental moral lesson or just fun?
Or does it cause future disfunction of you-know-what?
When will we see a horror movie where gays fornicating in public bathrooms are caught by the slasher and hacked to pieces??
That would be entertaining, start with Barney Frank and Jonathan Capart look-a-like characters.
Equal rights man. LOL
Hollywood is more concerned with polluted rivers than polluted minds.
Liberals constantly claim violence is worse than sex in movies but I don’t see them as close. 99% of movie violence is fantastic and unreal but the sex is realistic except that nothing bad ever happens from the sex.
Parents are to blame of course. Many don’t seem to have any morals themselves. Monica Lewinskys parents turned out to be not that uncommon. That was an eye opener for me.
“...tart with Barney Frank and Jonathan Capart look-a-like characters...”
Damn, SOL, I just ate....argh....
And parents are helpless to control what movies their children watch.
It’s in your face all the time...on tv & internet (now in libraries), in newspapers, in magazines, in movies, in advertisement, on billboards, all in prominent places, near schools, near/in restaurants, even near churches, near ball fields and parks...how can people not think that it doesn’t have an adverse effect on children: promiscuity, pornography, homosexuality and other unnatural acts, adultery, divorce, sexual abuse, pedophilia, and on and on...our children in this country are encouraged to experiment in such things, even in our schools, and there are precious few people in our government who say anything against it.
I was laughing at the thought.
I assume Capart actor would play the receiver (you know the female role) given his high pitched winy voice, then the Jason hatchet comes down with them both screaming and guts flying, “WHATT???...HELP....NOOOO!!! STOP!!!.... EEEEAHHHHH..... crickets
LOL. it's Friday dude
When I was a kid growing up in the 50s, if I wanted to go see a movie, my mother would check the back page of the Michigan Catholic. If it was rated “A” we could go. If it were a “B” then it was questionable. If it were a “C,” forget about it! In 2012, there aren’t too many flicks these days that would qualify for an “A.”
Lettuce be real..this suggestion is a joke in real life practice.
After you watch a G rated family movie with your little Johnnie and Susie they go up to their room and fire up the internet to watch free harcore porn...and young girls are some of the largest viewers of porn today.