Exposure to Adult-targeted TV During Childhood Predicts Earlier Onset of First Sexual Intercourse

The more children watch adult-targeted TV, the more likely they will engage in sexual intercourse in early adolescence.

  • Children between the ages of 12 and 18 were interviewed and logged the TV programs and movies that they watched on two random days. The study examined the relationship between adult-targeted TV viewing and sexual debut (first intercourse). After adjusting for gender, race/ethnicity, household income, and age, researchers discovered that those who had reported having had first intercourse previous to their second interview spent more time watching adult-targeted TV than those who had not reported having had intercourse.  Results from the Center on Media and Child Health state, For every hour that the youngest group watched adult-targeted TV at wave I, the risk of having intercourse by wave II increased by 33%. Having become sexually active was not, however, associated with subsequently watching more adult-targeted TV.1

    1Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting. Delgado H, et al, "Exposure to adult-targeted TV during childhood predicts earlier onset of first sexual intercourse" PAS 2009; Abstract 4750.6. May 4, 2009

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