Hollywood Sex Scenes Influence Kids’ Sexual Behavior

A recent study by the University of Missouri and Dartmouth College study has confirmed what common sense probably tells us already – that what kids see on screen affects their behavior. In this case, it was found that teens who watched a lot of simulated sex acts in movies were more likely to become sexually active earlier, indulge in more promiscuous behavior and more unsafe sex.

How movies influence teen sexual behavior

Hollywood-Sex-ScenesThe study examined over 700 popular Hollywood movies such as American Pie, American Beautyetc. Researchers found that teens who watched a lot of racy scenes from films tended to internalize what they watched and this influenced their sexual behavior because it gave them a rather skewed idea of what is considered ‘normal behavior’.

Movies tend to show a lot of spontaneous sex, perhaps in the interests of keeping the viewer’s interest riveted to the drama unfolding. Rarely are the protagonists shown to have a mature discussion about having sex or shown to be abstaining or using protection.  After all an interruption in the story where the couple abstain or don protection is not going to gel well with the story line.

This gives kids the idea that it is perfectly normal for people to jump into bed with each other spontaneously, swept up in the moment. However it doesn’t tell youngsters about responsible behavior or teach them about safe sex, the use of contraception and so on. So while kids are internalizing the promiscuity that they often see on screen they are not internalizing any responsible behavior.

How movies dictate other behaviors

Experts have long been yelling themselves hoarse about the negative impacts of media on impressionable minds of children.

Drinking and smoking is seen to encourage this behavior in kids and viewing this repeatedly means that kids are more likely to indulge in this behavior themselves and perhaps experiment with it earlier than they would have otherwise.

Then there is the impact that screen violence has on children. It starts with cartoons where the cat chases the mouse and hits, bludgeons and tries to eat the mouse. Then there are the so called action films where bullets are used with complete nonchalance and without any regard to what just one bullet can do to the human body. Is it any wonder that children become inured to the violence and start to think that it is normal?

Perhaps this calls more self regulation of the media. But it is also another reminder to parents to be careful about what their children watch, to regulate and to control their exposure not just to movies but all media.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

4 × two =