A study of 754 kids shows that those who watched television with adult content may become sexually active earlier in adolescence.
The research was done at Children’s Hospital Boston. They tracked kids from age 6 to 18, following what the children watched over the years. When the youngest kids (aged 6-8) watched adult-themed movies and TV, they were a whopping 33 percent more likely to have sex “during early adolescence”.
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.
Anyone who has read my blogs before knows that I’m a bit of a lunatic when it comes to TV watching I believe parents should monitor and limit television consumption. I use the word “consumption” because it should be managed like a treat, not sustenance, just as snacks in a well-rounded, healthy diet.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours of TV daily for children. I appreciate their media limit suggestion, but I still think that’s too much. A recent study showed that two hours daily raised the risk of asthma in kids.
Also, that much TV makes me wonder: if your child goes to school all day, comes home and gets that media fill, then does homework and chores and eats dinner, when does she find time to be outdoors?
And now it seems as though it’s not only how much you let the kiddos watch, but the content, too. Perhaps “Twilight” isn’t the best choice for little ones. Or “Sex and the City” for your tween girl. Or prime-time programming that is rich with sexual innuendo for any of the under-teen set.
Use your best sense, folks. If you want to reward your child with the treat of a movie, make sure you’d be comfortable watching it with your own great-grandmother.
As study co-author Dr. David Bickham said,
Adult entertainment often deals with issues and challenges that adults face, including the complexities of sexual relationships. Children have neither the life experience nor the brain development to fully differentiate between a reality they are moving toward and a fiction meant solely to entertain.
Image: AH!Photography on Flickr under a Creative Commons License.