NEWS:SEXY TELEVISION LINKED TO TEEN PREGNANCIES
According to new research,there is a link between “sexy” television shows and teen pregnancies:Parents who think there’s too much sex on TV have good reason to be concerned, groundbreaking new research suggests. Teens who watch television shows that have a lot of sexual content are more likely to become pregnant — or to get someone pregnant — by the time they turn 20, according to a study in the journal Pediatrics.
“Even shows that had a little bit of sexual talk” — but didn’t show sex acts — “. . . were still powerful in terms of the relationship to teen pregnancy,” said Anita Chandra, a behavioral scientist for the Rand Corp. who was the study’s lead author.
The research was based on a 2001 survey of 2,000 12- to 17-year-olds who were asked how often they watched any of 23 popular TV shows, ranging from cartoons and comedies to adult-themed shows such as “Sex and the City.”
Follow-up interviews were done years later to see how many of them got pregnant in their teen years or were responsible for a pregnancy.
Teens who watched shows where sex was regularly shown or discussed had two to three times the risk of pregnancy than young people exposed to lower levels of sexual content, the study said.
One possible reason, according to Chandra: TV shows tend to focus on the positive aspects of sex, not possible consequences.
“That may make teens more likely to initiate sex earlier, before they’re really ready to make responsible choices and find ways to protect themselves,” she said.
Limiting children’s exposure to shows with sexual content would be ideal, Chandra said.
But a more realistic option would be for parents to watch these shows with their kids and talk to them about sex, she said.