Exposure to Sexual Content on TV Leads to More Teen Pregnancies

Teens who are exposed to large amounts of sexual content on TV are more than twice as likely to be involved in an unplanned pregnancy than those with minimal exposure.

The leader of a recent study in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Chandra, (a behavioral scientist) believes that the increase of sexual content on TV in the past decade has contributed to the teen pregnancy rate in America. Shows such as Friends and Sex and the City are filled with sexual content that influences the audiences it reaches, including teens.

Her study surveyed over 2,000 teens between the ages of 12 -17 between 2001- 2004, and compared the amount of sexual content these teens saw on TV, to the number of girls who became pregnant, and the number of boys who impregnated a girl. The study found that of the teens who watched TV shows with the most sexual content , 25% were involved in a pregnancy, compared to only 12% of teens who saw minimal sexual content on TV.

Although there are many other influences over teen pregnancy, the study confirms that exposure to sexual content on TV plays an important role in shaping teen sexual behavior and teens with large amounts of exposure to this sexual content have nearly two times the risk of becoming involved with an unplanned pregnancy, than those with minimal exposure.1

1Does Watching Sex on Television Predict Teen pregnancy? Findings From a National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, The Journal of The American Academy of Pediatrics, 2008, pp. 1046 - 1055


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