In the News: TV Linked to Teen Pregnancy

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
11/5/2008 2:40 PM   :  56 comments

Television is a hot debate in many families. Parents are trying to screen what their children are watching, while the kids are begging to see the hottest new show this season. A new study finds there could be even more reason to be careful about the kinds of shows we let our kids watch. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that teens who watched the most sexual content (90th percentile) on TV were twice as likely to experience a pregnancy in the three-year period as those who watched the least (10th percentile).

The study surveyed teens (ages 12-17) over three years. Participants were asked how much television they watched and how often they watched specific shows, which were selected by researchers because of popularity with teens and high amounts of sexual content. The teens (both male and female) were also asked whether they had been pregnant or gotten a girl pregnant and other questions about their lives.

Are you surprised by these results? Initially, I was surprised that TV could have such a strong influence on the sexual behaviors of young people. But then I started to think about some of the popular shows on TV that target this age group. Many of them are full of sexual content, making it seem like sexual activity is no big deal and that there aren't consequences for your actions. So if you're a young person watching a lot of this on TV, could you start to feel the same way?

What do you think? Do you try to control the shows your kids are watching? Is that difficult to do? Even if you don't have kids, how do you feel about this topic?


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Comments

  • 56
    I was a teenager who chose which programs I would watch by myself, and I didn't fall into this demographic. I wouldn't let a 14-year-old watch True Blood or Cruel Intentions or anything, because I am a fan of parental moderation, but there's a point at which restricting television has to stop. It cannot take the place of teaching your children and teenagers how to have self-respect, that actions have consequences, and to separate situations dramatized on television from real-life situations. In fact, I would say that keeping the boob tube turned off and pretending that the glorified risky behavior doesn't exist is even worse than allowing teenagers to watch the programs. Teenagers who have been raised to have and defend their own standards of behavior while being bombarded with mixed messages about body image, substance abuse, and intimate relationships will not see two of the show's characters getting high and having sex and decide that it's okay to do next Saturday. They will simply enjoy (or be disgusted with) the drama, chat about it with friends the next day, and then forget about it when next week's episode comes on. - 12/15/2009   1:03:31 PM
  • 55
    I think what teen watch does have a sexual influence on teenagers. I tried to keep my children from watching certain shows on TV. I went so far as to disconnect the cable from outside on the nights certain shows i knew my daughter loved watching was on, as i knew she would try to watch it anyway. Of course this did not stop her from asking her friends what went on in the shows. So who knows if what i did really helped lol. - 10/5/2009   11:33:34 AM
  • 54
    I am not surprised by the results. I did an article on the media and its impact on kids a few years back. Parents have to be diligent in monitoring what kids are watching. We have the biggest media impact in history.When my kids lived at home we did monitor what they watched, tvs were not allowed in bedrooms with cable and it was easy because we were consist with our values. - 10/5/2009   9:30:19 AM
  • 53
    I don't think the blame is so much the fault of the television shows themselves, but even more so, when the boyfriend is over the girlfriend's house and supposedly "watching television" and there is not enough parental supervision going on. Now that will definitely raise the teenage pregnancy rates! - 9/14/2009   9:38:23 AM
  • 52
    I have neither kids or a TV, but I do teach 18-and up-year-olds. There's so much 'sexual content' in just about every media presentation--tv, ads in mags., online, etc., that it would be very hard for any teen not to be exposed and influenced.
    Having said that, I do notice that each year the incoming freshmen do mimic the behaviors of the shows of the previous 4-5 years. As those shows change (I've been teaching 20+ years) so do the behaviors mimicked. It's not just sex, obviously, but tell me sex isn't ENORMOUS for adolescents, & I've got a bridge to sell you (Duh).
    TV 'mimics' a culture's values (after all, it's ad. driven, and the sponsors believe that the programs they support are the most popular). I'd guess then, that it's not just the teens whose behavior is affected by the historically unprecedented (in this country, and in Europe for about 350 years) exploitation of explicit sexual imagery. - 8/10/2009   11:36:23 AM
  • JERSEYGIRL726
    51
    Oh, THERE'S a flippin' surprise! Let's see...it used to be that kids had an actual bedtime, and anything that was "questionable" was aired past a certain time. But now? I watch "Burn Notice" and have discovered the women of Miami are so poor, they cannot afford clothes...just wisps of fabric tied here and there. NCIS has flashbacks of Gibbs and the new director, in their old relationship. Cleavage is flaunted on every commercial, whether it's for cars or copy paper. "Bed-head" is a desirable look, for occasions OUTSIDE of the bedroom. Little girls under the age of 10 are wearing mini-high heels and lip gloss, and complimenting each other by saying, "You look really hot!" Apparently if you can breathe, you are old enough to have SOME kind of sex! Is it any wonder the kids are experimenting with more and more partners at a younger and younger age? Turn off the tube, go out and play softball with your kids, and if their choice of friends appear to be a bad influence, stand your parental ground. - 4/28/2009   5:18:31 PM
  • PIPPAUK87
    50
    Honestly? It's a bit of both. Parents need to step up and educate their children on the things they see on tv, but tv producers need to stop and think about what they put out there. - 2/11/2009   2:33:40 PM
  • SIMMONKD
    49
    I think that it is more than just the TV shows that are pushing the younger generation in the wrong direction. Partially I think it is an effect of the parenting techniques that seem to be so common. Now I am not saying that it would be easy to be a parent now, honestly I think it would be a lot harder than in the past with all of the influences that exist now. The problem is the lack of information that parents are giving to their children. The younger generation is growing up much faster than anyone could have imagined and the only solution is to accommodate this change. Young children that are 11, 12, and 13 years old need to have their parents talking to them about safe sex and pregnancy. Yes it does seem young but this age range is when young kids are beginning to experiment with sex. The only solution is through knowledge. This youth needs to be taught earlier and more efficiently about the dangers of unprotected/safe sex and reasons to wait. There needs to be more concentration on this in schools starting with elementary. I remember sitting in the one day session that they tried to jampack all you need to know about sex into, it just didn’t do it. Parents need to be aware of this as well, they need to adjust and be ready to deal with these issues much earlier than expected. I remember learning about sex through my friends at school , not my parents. And all that was said to me from a parental view was “do you know what sex is?” “yes” “okay good.” I do admit that the “sexy TV shows” do have an impact on young girls now and they may not be the best for their main viewer age group but that isn’t going to change, and the shows aren’t going to go away . All you have to do is educate. - 2/9/2009   11:38:58 PM
  • 48
    I was a 16 and pregnant with my first child, my parents were the type of parents to always make me stay at home and watch my younger brother and sister and finally when I did get to go out I was all about my friends and what they were doing. I met this guy who I feel in love with and we ended up having his baby at the age of 17 and now we are married. I don;t belive that this is all about what your children watch on t.v., it has alot to do with the type of people that your kids are hanging around and if your child is a leader or a follower. There is alot of peer pressure about sex. - 1/18/2009   9:58:19 PM
  • 47
    I don't think this study should be limited to television. I'm sure the internet, telephone & advertising are all guilty. The problem is, how do you keep children(which is what they are) away from all facets of the media.

    Alot of this comes down to parenting and getting to the child before the media does. I grew up in a household with a single parent, and although I spent alot of time by myself while growing up, my parents each made it a point to teach me how the media distorts things. If a parent can beat the media to the point of influencing a child that's all we can hope for. You're not going to shut down the media, but you can have a dramatic affect in curbing its influence on children. - 11/10/2008   9:09:29 AM
  • 46
    I agree with others; correlation does NOT equal causation in this case. It could be that teens who are engaged in sexual behaviours are more drawn to shows that have that kind of content.
    I believe that people need to stop blaming the "evils" of television for what goes on in their lives. What happened to good old-fashioned parenting? Watch TV with your kids, act as a role model, and be there for them instead of using television as a babysitter. I think that there is probably more at play here than just watching TV with sexual content. What about the age at which these teens began having sex? What about their home situation? Socioeconomic level? Religious views? Parental style?
    People need to understand that often, it is not only one thing that causes behaviours; it is a complex interactioin of different factors and I believe that this case is no different.
    - 11/9/2008   1:19:38 PM
  • 45
    I do have somewhat sheltered kids as far as TV goes: Amazing Race, Biggest Loser, a few movies... Garbage in garbage out is how I feel. Whether it causes pregnancy or not, I want my kids to BE kids, not very young adults. Kids grow up way too fast now, and I don't want to encourage that. - 11/8/2008   9:56:15 AM
  • 44
    Yup - kill your television, as the old bumpersticker says! We watch no tv (but do watch dvds), our reading-age child reads voraciously (the good old classics, like LITTLE HOUSE, ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, A LITTLE PRINCESS, etc. as well as the newer "hipper" series - MAIN STREET GIRLS, EMILY WINDSNAP, GAIA GIRLS, etc.) My daughter (9) knows more about sex and about marketing than I did in high school! We've had an open policy on it since she was tiny, and I hope that it continues. I can't count the number of trashy, slutty outfits I saw at her school on Halloween - WHY, oh WHY would any parent send their 7 year old dressed as a slutty pop singer? Because they watch them on tv and admire them! Wake up, America - tv feeds your brain the same trash that the commercials try to get you to buy to feed your body. Garbage in, garbage out. You're the parent - exercise your influence (not your authority), and you'll be pleasantly surprised at the results. - 11/8/2008   9:27:40 AM
  • 43
    This is a subject unfortunatly dear to my heart. My daughter is almost 11 and feels that she is old enough to watch "Gossip Girl". My feelings are somewhere in the middle. I feel that if I ban it she'll just watch it with her friends, but if I let her see it then she can ask me questions. She has been asking me questions about stuff since she was 6. At that age she asked, Mom I want the real story, and I told her well the mom and dad have a dance (called sex) and a baby can result in that. Then I told her when you are old enough, we'll talk about birth control. I want my daughter to feel that she can talk to me about anything (and she does). Often I blush but I'm glad she is open with me. The kids I worry about most are teh ones that are secretive with their parents. Lately she'll close her door to write in her journal or draw and I respect her privacy by knocking and asking permission to come in. I hate that she grows up in such wierd time but I hope I'm preparing her. I pray she never gets pregnant or a horrible disease. I am just there for her what ever comes her way. I hope we can always keep an "open door" policy. - 11/7/2008   8:45:25 PM
  • 42
    TV does influence the way we behave insidiously. It incites us repetitively to buy stuff we don't need, eat out of fancy, fantasize on idols it creates and promotes. Adults fall for it, and for children whose role models are absent or weak, it provides "glamorous" and dangerous ones to emulate. We need to protect our children and equilibrate the mirages of TV through being aware of what they are watching, providing frank and open discussions, proper sex education and moral values. It's true that in France there is a lot of open nudity on TV but there is also less hypocrisy and less taboo. Sex education in school starts at 9/10 years - birth control education at the same time. It helps. - 11/7/2008   8:05:46 PM
  • 41
    I miss the OC, that show had plenty of inappropriate conduct but I feel the consequences generally kept the main characters from doing what the audience wanted and being together hehe. - 11/7/2008   1:53:48 PM
  • 40
    Yeah, I'm with the others who have to point out that CORRELATION DOES NOT EQUAL CAUSATION. It's one of the most important things for us to remember when we look at any research results.

    All this study shows is that teens who are getting pregnant tend to watch more sexually explicit television than their peers who aren't getting pregnant. This study says NOTHING about what causes what. It could be that sexually explicit tv leads to higher rates of teen sex and pregnancy. It could ALSO be that teens who start having sex become more prone towards watching sexually explicit television (that the sex causes the television watching, not the other way around). Most likely of all, it could be that some OTHER factor leads to an increase BOTH the watching of sexually explicit television and sexual behavior/teen pregnancy.

    My personal guess? That parenting style and values are affecting BOTH the amount of sexually explicit television AND the amount/type of sexual behavior teens are engaging in. That makes WAY more sense to me than any of the other options. =D - 11/7/2008   1:18:49 PM
  • 39
    There are hundreds of studies going back as far as the 1970's that empirically prove that television influences behavior. We know that advertising influences behavior which is why it is a multi-billion dollar industry world wide. Why some would think sexual behavior wouldn't be influenced by TV is beyond me.

    Certainly parental values are important, but the major task of adolescent development is seeking to become an individual, distinct from parents. Teens will not simply adopt the behaviors that their parents favor. They need to test the limits. It is how they become themselves.

    A big part of adolescence is figuring out what "normal" is. Television programing that presents adolescent sexual behavior creates a norm in the mind of the viewers.

    I don't think that I can prevent my teenage daughters from seeing programs that I disapprove of. They do have some unsupervised time at home and they spend time at the homes of friends. But we talk often about the effect of media, and we talk about our family expectations of sexual behavior. I know they can recognize a show that I would disapprove of very quickly (as demonstrated by how quickly they move through these programs when they channel surf in my presence!)

    I remember learning in my early 20's that a lot fewer teens were having sex than I had assumed. It was the first time that I had seen the actual statistics, and I was really surprised. I am pretty sure that my assumptions came from the media.

    I really appreciated the comments of a previous contributor to this discussion who linked economic conditions to teen pregnancy. I believe that knowledge and aspiration are probably the greatest defense against early sexual activity. Young people who have goals, and understand how sexual activity could derail their lives, have the most motive to wait. - 11/7/2008   12:01:28 PM
  • GIANT-STEPS
    38
    As always correlation does not equal causation.

    Anywho, why are there so many teen pregnancies? Here's what I think are the two main reasons.

    1) Latch-key kids. Today in most households both parents work and kids have too little guidence and too much unsupervised time. When I was a lad most moms stayed at home. My mom worked a little as a substitute teacher but because she wanted to, not because she had to. Today people can't get by on a single paycheck.

    2) Kids no longer believe in the American dream where hard work generates success. My dad got a job when he was 12 to help out his family and except 5 years he took off to join the Army to fight in Korea worked for the same company until he retired. He only had a high school education but with hard work and loyalty he was able to buy a house in the country that he paid off before he turned 30, none of us kids wanted for anything and he was able to help with college, and he enjoyed a comfortable retirement. I have a college degree and am at the top of my field yet in most ways I'm not doing as well as my dad did with just a high school education. In my dad's day a good employee working for a good company didn't have to worry about being laid off; I constantly worry of being downsized or outsourced if corporate bean counters decide they can save a few bucks by getting rid of me. A few years ago I thought something was wrong so I researched it and discovered that since I was born wages have gone up 400% but the cost of living has gone up 600%. We effectively are making 1/3 less than people used to 40 years ago. Kids these days have it even worse, every recent college grad I know has tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt yet can't find a job that pays much more than their living expences; these recent grads are either scraping by paying on their loan or make so little they have deferments that delay the payments but not the interest on their loan.

    So you have kids without guidance, too much unsupervised time on their hands, and too little faith that if they do everything right they will be rewarded with a good outcome. - 11/7/2008   11:23:57 AM
  • 37
    Teen pregnancy is so unnecessary, but they can get on WELFARE and get everything paid for, so they do. My dd is a Senior at a high school with 70% minority students, and they BRAG about having a baby and being on Welfare. We know one boy who has 3 "baby mamas" and doesn't pay a dime to support any of them. - 11/7/2008   11:00:26 AM
  • 36
    Not surprised in the least. Hollywood never ceases to amaze me. Movie stars will take take roles in movies, make political or social statements and do a host of other things to influence our youth. However, when the results of their actions are things like increased teen smoking and increased teen pregnancy, they claim - Oh we have no influence over kids. They think their influence works on kids ONLY when they want it to.
    First and foremost parents have to take an active role in what their kids do, watch, and pal around with. That said, the influence of Hollywood is far reaching and difficult to "monitor" 24/7. - 11/7/2008   10:57:10 AM
  • 35
    I don't believe that the study proves that sexy television causes kids to have sex--it just proves that kids who have sex watch more sexy tv than kids who don't have sex. It could be because the kids having sex are more interested in sex and seek it out in their media as well as in their real world. I think it is wrong to blame television for kids' behavior. The fault lies in how parents are raising their children and monitoring their behavior, and the values they are being taught at home, as well as in school and church. The media is just one part of a bigger equation, and, face it, if people weren't watching these programs they wouldn't be on the air. - 11/7/2008   9:47:56 AM
  • 34
    That is part of the reason that we donot have Cable TV. I do not believe in paying to support views that I do not agree with. I should state that we do not have children in the house, but we do have grandchildren. I know their parents limit what they can watch. - 11/7/2008   9:31:51 AM
  • 33
    Just my opinion, but I think that a lot of the shows and movies treat teen pregnancy like it's no big deal. To me it is a big deal. When I was in high school in the late 70's, we only had 1 pregnant student out of almost 2000. And she had already been married for a year before she got pregnant. Thirty years later she's still married to the same man.

    But 4 years ago when my son was a Sophomore in High School at a very small school with less than 20 girls, 5 were pregnant at the same time. Only 1 married the father of her baby. So I just feel like we act like it's no big deal if a teen gets pregnant. I pray every night that I am doing a good job of raising my daughter that's 15.

    And have you listened to the lyrics of a lot of the songs on the radio? I know of several of them that are talking about oral sex or regular sex or making strippers sound sexy. You can't get away from it. I think it's disgusting and my daughter knows I can't stand those songs but I also can't control what she listens too when she's at a friends house. - 11/7/2008   9:19:15 AM
  • 32
    I definitely think that the relationship the child has with her parents/family makes a huge difference, but the content of these television programs cannot help. Recreational sex is everywhere and the participants never suffer any of the emotional repercussions that real life individuals do. When they do encounter a pregnancy, they either pretend it doesn't exist or write it into the story line. And when it is written into the story line, the character never encounters any REAL difficulties. In fact, most of the time the kids are not around. Like THAT is real life. - 11/7/2008   8:08:02 AM
  • 31
    You know, I watched all that stuff when I was younger, and I remained abstinent until 21 when I was in an engagement-like relationship. I do not think television plays a factor at all into behavior. Honestly... it's all about the parent-child relationship. - 11/7/2008   3:40:54 AM
  • 30
    I thought it was interesting that you brought up Nickelodeon, VANNASMOM, because the first thing I thought of when reading this was Jamie Lynn (sp?) Spears, who just had a teen pregnancy. Wasn't she from a show on Nickelodeon? And as far as I have heard, she has been allowed to continue on that show, right? IMHO, although I am truly glad she didn't choose abortion, there should have been consequences for her actions; and there doesn't really seem to have been. To me, that is an excellent reason to ban that station (and others that promote values with which you do not agree) and make sure your kids know why. TV is only as bad for their kids as parents allow it to be. Just like we are always being told to keep computers in central places in our homes and monitor what our kids are looking at on them, so should we be doing the same with television. - 11/6/2008   7:48:41 PM
  • 29
    I am thankful that my daughter is not really into TV and never has been. The few shows she does watch are on either Disney or Nickelodeon and sometimes they even push it with the behavior. Kids learn things way earlier now than even I did. My 7 yr old knows more now than I did in middle school. - 11/6/2008   4:31:54 PM
  • EATINGSMARTER
    28
    This may seem extreme but my mother had a pretty good deterrent for my three brothers and I - she got a sexually transmitted disease book from my aunt the nurse and she highlighted the pages on the most common diseases. It was so graphic (full color pictures and all!) She had a frank discussion with us on how easy these diseases were to catch and how they can negatively effect the rest of your life. She also showed us a movie on child birth from Lamaze with all the full gory detail. She asked me if I would like to have this happen to me - it worked!
    No TV show was going to convince me to take chances after what I saw.
    - 11/6/2008   2:06:45 PM
  • 27
    i think you should explain to your kids that what they see on tv about sex isn't all that it's cracked up to be i'm glad they do have the shows that teens get pregnant what to expect cause some times kids never learn thing unless they see it on tv but i think you should talk with your young men and women on the topic of sex and std's and what can and will happen if they decide to have sex to have safe sex no matter if you tell them about it or hear from friends or tv shows i think is better on them to know than find out the hard way by experience i think you should say the abstinence is best if you find yourself in a position they need to know about safe sex you can't conroll waht they do when they are at friends houses or at school all you can do is talk to them them explain how you feel about it and they might understand the sex stuff better if they have question answer them best you can all we can do sherry - 11/6/2008   1:21:13 PM
  • 26
    I believe that parents should present their children with the facts and make sure that they understand what the consequences could be. I also believe that parents should be a moral compass for their children. Having said that, I agree that there is way to much trash on tv these days. If it weren't for my husband's love of DIY Network and Discovery I wouldn't even care if we had a tv. - 11/6/2008   1:18:04 PM
  • IMAGIN8
    25
    Kids need good quality health education. Ignorance, not TV, causes teen pregnancy. - 11/6/2008   12:51:12 PM
  • 24
    I think it has more to do with the families that these kids come from. The homes where the parents are involved and monitoring their kids activities (i.e. not letting them watch sexually explicit tv) has a lower rate of teen pregnancy and the homes where the parents are not actively involved have higher rates of pregnancy....that is really a no-brainer. - 11/6/2008   11:07:21 AM
  • 23
    Thank you PRETTYBLKGYRL, well written, I agree - 11/6/2008   8:44:12 AM
  • 22
    People seem so quick to look for a scapegoat. Explain why Ricky & Lucy slept in separate beds on "I Love Lucy" - yet there were still teenage pregnancies. The only difference between now & then is: in those days the families quietly shipped the girls off until they had the babies OR they were shot-gunned into marriage.

    If anyone (American) ever watched European television they'd probably be shocked to learn that countries like Belgium, the Netherlands & France have NUDITY in their prime time television programs. YET they have an almost non-existent teenage pregnancy rate. & if you want to examine teenage pregnancy rates a little closer to home - look at Canada. They also have a much lower rate of teen pregnancy (per capita).

    In developed countries America rates among the highest in teen pregnancy. & I don't attribute those statistics to sex on television - I feel it has a lot to do with the scare tactics we employ when teaching our children about sex. We demonize sexuality versus providing comprehensive sexual education. I feel being proactive is far more effective than being reactive. - 11/6/2008   7:16:52 AM
  • CAROLYN00
    21
    We are all influenced by what we experience. Young minds are especially open to whatever they see and hear as they haven't yet developed a strong personal set of core values. Garbage in really equals garbage out.

    We have five children, all grown now. I also ran a daycare business in my home while we were raising the kids. Sunday through Friday afternoon there was NO TV! On Friday evenings, as a family, we selected what we'd watch TOGETHER. Limited Saturday TV was available only after chores and homework was done--but my husband and I still had veto rights over questionable programs.

    This worked well for our family as it allowed us to spend our time pursuing more worthwhile activities and developing talents. Just limiting TV viewing will not stop behavior like teen pregnancies. But it's important to acknowledge what a powerful influence TV is on us--especially our children....but in order to effectively control on what is watched, how much is watched, etc, and then positively direct our children into other worthwhile activities, you need to have a parent home with the kids! Tough situation for us parents these days. - 11/6/2008   6:56:59 AM
  • MJS505
    20
    I didn't need a study to tell me tv and video games influence children. I have three teens/young adults. I have always watch what they watch, (tv, movies, even their video games). We have had many discussions about how you can't behave like people do in these forms of media. - 11/6/2008   6:52:29 AM
  • 19
    I have raised four children and we have not had a TV for almost 20 years. I am amazed that people feel they are powerless to do anything about this influence. You have control! At first i was afraid that I would be out of touch, but withe the internet and radio I have never felt that I was any less informed than my friends or colleagues. The first week or so is tough and after that you won't even remember how you had time to watch it. - 11/6/2008   6:19:39 AM
  • 18
    well being an adult and living alone I love cable and netflix. You can easily set a pass code on your tv for what stations the kids watch but there gonna be influenced in some other way so you can't stop it unless they are home. - 11/6/2008   6:10:44 AM
  • 17
    We didn't have tv for 4 years, and just had a netflix subscription and rented shows and movies we wanted that way. It was cheaper and we just saw what we wanted. My husband wanted tv back for the summer olympics, so we just got it back in August. We have the most basic of cable (8 stations) and we basically only watch PBS. My kids don't watch any programs other than the news from time to time (Jim Lehrer) or a nature show. And even that is infrequent. - 11/6/2008   12:23:19 AM
  • BOOGALOOSHRIMPY
    16
    I am happy to say that my son and I do not subscribe to cable TV. My son is 12 and he has been raised since birth without the influence of cable TV. And he has never complained or asked for it. What I find just as bad as sex etc. on shows are the commercials. They are horrible and am glad we aren't subjected to them every day. Also, we know that there is always something better to do that veg out in front of the TV. To me, watching TV all night after work is such a waste of precious time I will never get back. Sure there is some great content on there. I buy that on DVD or watch on the internet. - 11/5/2008   10:48:09 PM
  • 15
    I think there is way too much sex shown in the tv today. I think if we try to monitor what movies we and our children watch, it would be a lot better for our children. - 11/5/2008   9:21:50 PM
  • SHERI1969
    14
    I am not surprised at all. I just have to listen to my nephew talk and my neice. And it's not just the shows...watch the commercials. Things seen on commercials now would have been considered pornographic when I was a teenager. Hardly anything surprises me anymore. Put on music, read a book, do some art, play a game as a family...turn off the tv. I do and I'm 39. TV is disgusting today. - 11/5/2008   9:12:44 PM
  • 13
    I'm a young (24) woman who considers herself politically and socially liberal, and even I think there is wayyyy too much graphic sexual content on TV! - 11/5/2008   7:00:52 PM
  • 12
    I think the V Chip and TV rating blocks are a must for homes with children under 18 years of age. I have found shows rated PG13 that are not appropriate for teens or for me in some cases. I feel music lyrics are to blame also for the negative influences on young people. Teen pregnancy is not a new issue, in my mom’s day (1940s) and mine (1980s) teens were having babies out of wedlock, I agree, television is just an added harmful edition to the destruction of the morals in our homes. - 11/5/2008   6:20:43 PM
  • JACONRAD
    11
    Single working mom with 2 kids - 12 & 14. I noticed a long time ago that if my children watched certain things over & over again, they either became numb to the shock of things or thought it was ok themselves. Their dad would let them watch very grown-up movies when they were very little and say 'it's just a movie'. Needless to say it has been about 7-8 yrs since I've had a incoming signal to my house and we don't even miss it. We use the internet & newspapers to keep in touch with news and we watch movies for entertainment. I watch the movies with my children so we can discuss any issues or subjects that are a little more 'grown-up' at the end of the movies. My kids know there are some movies I don't want them to see, but they at least have a solid grip on reality/fiction & right/wrong regardless of where they see it. And they know that they can always talk with me about anything they see or hear - on the screen or off. - 11/5/2008   6:00:34 PM
  • 10
    There are many shows that have adult themes during daytime hours and especially in prime time. But in today's "modern" world, it seems that children have access to TV just like any other piece of furniture in their homes, nevermind that this particular piece can espouse very shocking topics with little regard to the age of the individual watching or how they might use that new-found information. - 11/5/2008   5:30:02 PM
  • ANNIEMARIE6
    9
    I believe that tv does influence our children. At night my husband and I watch tv, and I can't believe some of the things I see. Althought I don't think it's just the tv, parents have to take part of the blame for what there children are watching and also what there children are doing. I remember when I was growing up my grandparents had strict rules that I had to follow. Today I find that a lot of parents are afraid to lay down rules for there children. You must moniter what your children are doing!I know that sometimes we as parents must say no. - 11/5/2008   4:30:51 PM
  • 8
    TV shows are just long commercials. They are pushing things on all of us and some people are more susceptible to their products (in these cases all sexual attitudes). - 11/5/2008   4:20:49 PM
  • 7
    I'm sorry but while TV may slightly influence children of any age it is not the sole explanation for this study - put the blame where it belongs ON THE PARENTS! - 11/5/2008   3:44:36 PM

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