This just in: TV shows that include sex may increase the risk of teenage pregnacies [link].
Teenage girls who watch a lot of TV shows with a high sexual content are twice as likely to become pregnant, according to a study.
Boys watching similar programmes, like Friends and Sex and the City, were also more likely to get a girl pregnant, the research in Pediatrics found.
The study authors said limiting exposure to sexual content on TV might reduce teen pregnancies.
Or, heaven forfend, kids should be educated about safe sex.
I don’t know if it’s just me who finds this startlingly obvious, but I’ll lay out my argument here, just in case.
- Teenagers, as a rule of thumb, tend to be horny.
- When done right, sex is fun.
- Certain TV shows portray sex as fun because it is, when done right.
- Teenagers watch TV.
- In the end, with all the different methods of accessing TV shows these days (web, torrent, DVD, hell, even TV itself), it’s pretty hard to stop teenagers from watching TV shows, especially the ones that they think are cool to watch.
- Watching something that says "hey, this is fun" is more likely to increase your desire to do said thing.
- Because of 5, kids will watch these programmes, even if you don’t want them to (get used to it, they’re teenagers, they’ll do plenty of things you don’t want them to do).
- Teenagers will most likely experiment with sex before they stop being teenagers; Point #6 will encourage them, but it would probably happen anyway because of point #1.
- If you don’t educate your teenagers about safe sex then the chances are massively increased that they will either get pregnant or catch an STI.
- Ergo, educating your kids about safe sex is the best way to prevent them getting pregnant or catching an STI. They will have sex, regardless of whether you want them to or not.
Thankfully, the BBC article makes this point and quotes a couple of good sources of information, though it fails to link to them. I’d suggest at least linking to Brook, which offers "free, confidential advice on sex and contraception to young people."