Does Watching Sex on Television Predict Teen Pregnancy? Findings from a National Longitudinal Survey of Youth

RAND Corp.

The study is the first to conclude that teens who watch a lot of sexual content on television are more likely to get pregnant or to get their partners pregnant. Researchers used data gathered from 700 12- to-17-year-olds over the course of three years. About 25 percent of sexually active teens who most often watched explicit shows such as “Sex and the City,” “Friends” and “That 70s Show” were involved in a pregnancy, compared with 12 percent who spent less time viewing sexually explicit programs. The study was conducted in response to the recent slight increase in teen pregnancy rates, which had been declining for decades. It appears in the Nov. 5 issue of the journal Pediatrics. Abstract available at; full article available for one-day registration fee of $12.


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