News – Adult TV a risk to children

ET staff writer
ET staff writer
01 June, 2009 1 min read

Adult TV a risk to children

Children who view TV programmes aimed at adults are more likely to engage in sexual activity earlier in life, researchers have found.

A study has concluded that the younger children were exposed to TV shows with adult content, the sooner they became sexually active during adolescence. Children who watched less grown-up television were less likely to have early sexual experiences.

Lead researcher Dr Hernan Delgado, quoted by the Christian Institute, said: ‘Television and movies are among the leading sources of information about sex and relationships for adolescents. Our research shows that their sexual attitudes and expectations are influenced much earlier in life’.

Co-author Dr David Bickham said: ‘Children have neither the life experience nor the brain development to differentiate between a reality that they are moving toward and a fiction meant solely to entertain. Children learn from media, and when they watch media with sexual references and innuendos, our research suggests they are more likely to engage in sexual activity earlier in life’.

Recently, the Government’s consumer watchdog warned of the sexualisation of young girls by popular cultural trends, such as teenage magazines and revealing clothing. Last year, another study found that teenagers who watch television programmes with sexual content are twice as likely to become pregnant or get someone else pregnant.

ET staff writer
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