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Teen pregnancy linked to sexy TV

>> Thursday, October 27, 2011


Exposure to some forms of entertainment is a corrupting influence on children, leading teens who watch sexy programs into early pregnancies and children who play violent video games to adopt aggressive behaviour, researchers said.

In findings that covered 718 teenagers, there were 91 pregnancies. The study focused on 23 free and cable television programs popular among teenagers including situation comedies, dramas, reality programs and animated shows. So if teens are getting any information about sex they're rarely getting information about pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.''
Teen pregnancy rates in the United States have declined sharply since 1991 but remain high compared to other industrialized nations.

Researchers at the RAND research organization said their three-year study was the first to link viewing of racy television programming with risky sexual behavior by teens.
In findings that covered 718 teenagers, there were 91 pregnancies. The study focused on 23 free and cable television programs popular among teenagers including situation comedies, dramas, reality programs and animated shows. "So if teens are getting any information about sex they're rarely getting information about pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases."
Teen pregnancy rates in the United States have declined sharply since 1991 but remain high compared to other industrialized nations.
Sex and the City," anyone? Previous research by some of the same scientists had already found that watching lots of sex on TV can influence teens to have sex at earlier ages.
Teens were re-interviewed twice, the last time in 2004, and asked about pregnancy. The programs included "Sex and the City," "That '70s Show" and "Friends."
There were more pregnancies among the oldest teens interviewed, but the rate of pregnancy remained consistent across all age groups among those who watched the racy programs.
Chandra said TV-watching was strongly connected with teen pregnancy even when other factors were considered, including grades, family structure and parents' education level.
But the study didn't adequately address other issues, such as self-esteem, family values and income, contends Elizabeth Schroeder, executive director of Answer, a teen sex education program based at Rutgers University.
Parents also should be watching what their kids watch and helping filter messages sex-filled shows are sending, he said.

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