Study links sex, TV to teen pregnancy

Study says watching sex on tv might lead to teen pregnancy.
Study says watching sex on tv might lead to teen pregnancy.

A new report on teenage pregnancy puts part of the blame squarely on what teens are seeing on television.

A Rand Corporation study of more than 2,000 teenagers over a three year period concluded teenagers watching even just sexually suggestive TV are twice as likely to be involved in a pregnancy.
Lead author Anita Chandra says other aspects of pop culture, including the internet, were factored in.

"We know that the factors that contribute to teen pregnancy are complicated and complex.  We're just saying that television exposure is one factor that merits attention," Chandra explained.

Most frustrating to critics is that some truly tragic consequences of teenage pregnancy  are rarely covered on the shows.

The National Association of Broadcasters reacted by saying "Broadcasters encourage parents and caregivers to use V-Chip and other program blocking technologies that would screen out shows that are inappropriate for children."

The researchers advocate parental involvement.

"Sometimes, we don't see a lot about the risks and responsibilities of sex on TV or the potential negative consequences, so we encourage parents to really have a frank dialogue with teens about the TV that they're viewing," Chandra said.