Reasons for Abstinence

WHAT A SURPRISE! Study links teen sex to TV sexual content (9/04)

Young people who watch TV are about twice as likely to start having intercourse during the subsequent year as those with little exposure to televised sex, researchers found [Pediatrics, 9/04].

High exposure to TV sexual content among those aged 12-17 also was linked with a lower but still substantially increased risk of starting non-intercourse behavior, including passionate kissing and oral sex. Even shows that only refer to sex but don’t depict it had the effect.

“Exposure to TV that included only talk about sex was associated with the same risks as exposure to TV that depicted sexual behavior,” said Rand Corp. behavioral scientist Rebecca Collins and colleagues.

From innuendoes to depictions of intercourse, sex is pervasive on TV, present in about two-thirds of all shows other than news and sports, and teens watch an average of 3 hours of TV/day.

[nationwide phone surveys of 1,792 adolescents queried in 2001 and again in 2002. Participants were asked how often they watched 23 high sex content shows & whether they engaged in sexual activities; results were compared from the 2 surveys.]

Over the year, teens who had intercourse climbed from ~18 to 36%; sexual experiences other than intercourse climbed from 62 to 75% over 12 months. Factors that increased the likelihood of having intercourse included being older, having older friends and getting poor grades; TV still remained a strong influence.  [Pediatrics, 9/04; AP, Lindsey Tanner,  2004, Seattle Times

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/education/2002028200_tvsex07.html]