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Does Sex on TV Make You Want to Get It On?

Teenage pregnancy is on the rise again and researches are now saying that television is partly to blame. A study, which is being published today in the American Academy of Pediatrics looked at 700 12 to 17 year olds for three years and found that those who watched sexual content on TV were roughly twice as likely to be involved in a pregnancy over teenagers who didn't. And the lead researcher in this study, Anita Chandra, feels there's a strong association between the two factors. An article in today's Washington Post sums up the study by saying:

Studies have found a link between watching television shows with sexual content and becoming sexually active earlier, and between sexually explicit music videos and an increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases. . . . But the new research is the first to show an association between TV watching and pregnancy among teens.

Since sexual activity is basically on every channel these days, it's pretty hard to avoid, but do their findings ring true to you? When you watch sexually heated content on the small screen, does it make you want to get it on?


Join The Conversation
dikke-kus dikke-kus 7 years
That's interesting about comparisons with Europe. I've been there and my husband is from the Netherlands. They have more sex than any other place the world. He told me they generally lose their virginity at fifteen or sixteen. That's pretty young. I would say young people act more casual about sex here and also there in the 2000's for sure. I went dancing in a big club recently in Denmark and wow. Talk about dirty dancing. The guys get up behind you and uh, well grind. They make it so you don't know if they want a cigarette, or a night in bed. The Danes told me if you go into a bar there you will have no difficulties finding a partner for the evening. You know, the entire night. However I noticed, ahem, the guys all walk around with condoms. More so than the average American kid would. Maybe the attitude of having condoms is what could be keeping those teen pregnancies down lower there? Anyway yes, I think advertising does affect many. I should know. I was in the industry for years. You can't keep their eyes off TV, magazines and movies. They are bombarded.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 8 years
Nope. Seeing people on TV making out or getting it on turns me right off. Personally I think kids should be taught sex ed as soon as they hit puberty. And not only shown it but they have to prove that they've learned it. I went through seven years of sex ed, and I'm a lot more conscious of diseases, pregnancy and the biology of the reproductive system than most of my classmates. My parents never gave me "the talk," they didn't need to. Funny thing is, regardless of all the education kids were given, I still have to explain periods, STI's, and just why you got knocked up for not using a condom. It was just terrible when I had to tell one of my guy friends what a dental dam was.
Pallas-Athena Pallas-Athena 8 years
Honestly, I watch a lot of things with sex, but that is what I grew up with until a certain age (by then it was too late). I don't plan on having sex until I'm married and a lot of how parents raise their children comes into effect. If a parent doesn't help a child learn how to make decisions and not fall into peer pressure then the child will just do what their friends do. I don't care that my friends make fun of me because I don't do certain things and if they were really my friends (and half of them aren't anymore) then they would respect me doing the right things and the things that I believe in instead of making fun of me and calling me names.
Muirnea Muirnea 8 years
Meike and looseseal: I totally agree!!!! I don't think you can blame it on one thing. Media, lack of safe-sex education, parents not doing enough, etc., everything plays a role.
kh61582 kh61582 8 years
I watched a lot of shows growing up that had lots of sexual content. We had all the movie channels and everything and I was pretty curious so I would watch all the steamy sex scenes but I didn't have sex until I was 19. I'm 23 and I've only been with one partner. My point being that according to this study I should have been knocked up at 14. I'm not saying the study is wrong however I don't think you can blame it solely on television. I think it's everything. I think it's sex education at 5 years old. I think it's movies like Nick and Norah's Infinite play list where the main character (only a senior or junior in high school) has never had an orgasm and her friends think she's some kind of an alien because of it. It's magazines, movies, and the way parents let their kids do anything they want nowadays. The whole society is topsy-turvy. I am really mature for my age and I'm lucky that I'm not as stupid and impressionable as my peers but this country is headed straight for the crapper at this rate.
quitecontrary quitecontrary 8 years
I'm with Meike and wadewifey on this one. the sexual content here in Europe is much more explicit, but also more honest. It seems that lately in American TV, sexuality is treated as more of an "accessory" than part of who you are. I was freaked out the other day to read an article about 12 and 13 girls saying that BJs are a "party game". WHHHAT!?!?! I believe in mandatory sex ed starting young- from the parents and the schools. Not just pointing and naming the bits and pieces but also talking about it from all angles- physically, psychologically, socially. Most kids are getting bombarded with sexual images from very young ages- it's a problem that probably won't go away. Therefore, parents and teachers need to step up and be as active as talking about sex as the TV is. Maybe it can balance out somewhere.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
"BS! Germany, the Netherlands, France among other European countries show nudity, sexual innuendo, and even porn on television. The teen pregnancy rates there are significantly less than here in the U.S. America wants less teen pregnancy? It's called 'implementing f-king comprehensive sex education in all middle/high schools'." I'm with you on this one. Some Americans are truly scared of sex education.
looseseal looseseal 8 years
Gossip Girl would definitely not make a good teaching substitution for sex ed, but there was that one episode where Blair had a pregnancy scare. Condom use was mentioned. So was The Pill. That's really more care towards the subject matter than I would have expected from the show that advertises itself as "bad for you" and "a parent's worst nightmare". That one hour of television imparted more knowledge than the so-called "sex ed" that only tells you birth control and sex are EVIL that I hear is all that many teens today get. So when they get those natural urges, they're unclear on what's going on, so they kinda just go with it, but they have no idea how to use birth control. THAT's why the teen pregnancy rate is high. If more teens knew their urges are normal and not EVIL and that masturbation will not blind them, give them hairy palms or send them to hell... there'd be much less teen pregnancy.
Natalie-Love Natalie-Love 8 years
Well, I do have to admit that a good sex scene may turn me on and make me want to jump my boyfriend's bones. But it's not because that's what the cool people do. It's because what my body want to do, really. I do think 12-13 year old seeing sex being taken lightly and not as a "big deal" is wrong, but if they're older teens, and a show turns them on, they have sex, and not use a condom, you can't blame the show for pregnancy!
Meike Meike 8 years
BS! Germany, the Netherlands, France among other European countries show nudity, sexual innuendo, and even porn on television. The teen pregnancy rates there are significantly less than here in the U.S. America wants less teen pregnancy? It's called 'implementing f-king comprehensive sex education in all middle/high schools'.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 8 years
as for the comments of it being poor parenting, that's what I would say too but I think that television can be a reflection OF us (including parents) so maybe they have a point?
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 8 years
I'm with you on that, californiagirlx7 :)
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
Sometimes it's a turn-on for me, depending on how romantic or intimate it is, but I'm still a virgin so obviously it doesn't affect me that much. I don't feel peer pressure from watching Gossip Girl or any of those teen shows, because frankly they are TOO promiscuous and I don't want to be like that. I also didn't have a strong desire to have sex in high school like these people depicted on TV, mainly because I was scared of the consequences, especially of disappointing my family by getting pregnant or something, but mostly because I want to wait for that "special person." I am more influenced by my friends and my peers than the media, and I have a strong sense of self so even if all of my friends become wh*res that wouldn't necessarily mean that I would become one too ;) Thankfully, most of my friends are on the same wavelength as me.
momma-tikita momma-tikita 8 years
I have to say yes..but it depends on what I'm watching. Soap no. I think those are extremely corny! But if I'm watching a good movie and it has a good sex scene of course! Media is partially to blame (in my opinion) but also the kid has to be smart enough to not let shows or movie persuade them! I used to see a lot of shows that had sex scenes in them (I was rebellious) but never once because of those shows did i sit there and say "man I cant wait to have sex"! I was smart enough to know that sex on TV is just on TV and not reality. Lets face it, at a young age it isn't as passionate as it is on TV. Yet I wasn't smart to not let a total douche persuade me my first time...uhh. forget it!
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
No. Sexual scenes...especially soap opera spit swapping as loud as humanly possible makes me want to gag. It's never a turn on for me. If it's a kiss like Noah and Allie's in the rain on The Notebook is gives me an awww feeling immediately followed by the jaded 'that crap only happens in the movies'...that's about it. Ah, my daughter's a young teen and she thinks it's gross unless it's a sweet circumstance. So, basically the same I guess. :) She also doesn't watch any of those 'teen' shows, so she's not desensitized and thinks hooking-up isn't the 'norm' but the trash.
graylen graylen 8 years
I think this a lot with Gossip Girl. I feel like some of the content of the show is not okay for young teens (mainly just that they show it as completely common place with no repercussions). I'm in my mid-20's and I watch the show (though would never admit it publicly ;) ). But, I'm in my mid-20's- not an impressionable 12 or 13 which is a lot of their market. Kind of scary in my mind.
bchicgrl bchicgrl 8 years
I think the media does play a big role in showing kids that sex is OK but with that said it's still the parents responsibility to make sure they don't act out what they see on TV. I believe a bigger reason for them having sex young is total peer pressure. I went through it in high school as I'm sure most of you did on one thing or another but in the end my mom was still there to talk to me about it.
turtlefreak turtlefreak 8 years
I have to agree with these studies. Some movies really make me want to get it on and sometimes I don't finish watching the movie. Good case scenario is Cruel Intentions. Something about that movie makes me want to jump my husbands bones!! :)
geebers geebers 8 years
I agree Sun - yes it IS the parent's responsibility but whether you like it or not- media DOES play a big role. People want to be like the "cool" people on tv. It sounds stupid but kids are very easily influenced by peers and by media. I do think that sex needs to be treated a bit more seriously. Of course I think that in addition to parents our friends and our school culture are probably the biggest factors followed by media.
Sun_Sun Sun_Sun 8 years
i definitely believe that alot of the shows that young teens are watching these days have a glorified perception of random, casual sex. whether we like it or not, media has a huge impact on growing teens. they want to fit in. so they do as the teens in those shows do. im not saying that sex should be a taboo subject, i just believe that when it comes to young teens, they should be shown the consequences of sex without protection, sex with multiple partners etc.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
Sounds like poor parenting to me. Don't blame the TV, blame the parents!
geebers geebers 8 years
I have to say that TV has sexual activity constantly nowadays and RARELY do they talk about the consequences of sex. When I was younger we had Beverly Hills 90210, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, My So-Called Life as the big HS shows and ALL of them discussed sex as a big deal not just some fun activity that everyone does. It was a big deal to lose your virginity, a big deal to have sex, and I do recall references to protection and consequences. Nowdays I watch Gossip Girl and I used to watch the OC and I feel sex is just not taken seriously. I guess what I am saying is that I can believe these results.
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