This just in – it looks like kids who watch TV with a lot of sexual content are two to three times more likely to have a teen pregnancy (or impregnate someone) than those who don’t.
The researchers think these shows, like “Sex in the City” highlight the fun of having sex and don’t discuss the risks and consequences. Teens then start think they don’t need to use precautions and don’t take steps to protect themselves.
There could be some other things at play here, like the kids watch shows that reflect their interests – sex – and surprise, surprise, they happen to do it and get pregnant.
I don’t think watching these kinds of shows without discussing them is a good idea. Parents can watch these shows with their kids and talk about how realistic they are.
You could ask questions like “Does Carrie really have all that sex and never get an STD or pregnant? What’s she doing to prevent that from happening?” This might get them thinking.
You could also find other programming that’s more appropriate for them to watch – not that you can control them all the time, but you can have some influence.
Media. It’s powerful.
Parenting. It’s more powerful. Just do it.