Telly gets you pregnant

November 4th, 2008 § 0 comments

The Mail:

Teenage girls who watch a lot of TV shows with a high sexual content are twice as likely to become pregnant, a study said yesterday.
Boys watching similar shows are also much more likely to get a girl pregnant

‘Twice as likely’ and ‘more likely’. Hardly a damning first paragraph, there is it?

The study of more than 2,000 American youngsters between 12 and 17 is the first to directly link programmes such as Friends and Sex And The City to pregnancy.
It warned: ‘One problem is that these and similar programmes glamorise sex while hardly mentioning its downsides, such as pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.’

‘Linked’ not a firm claim of causality? Linked implies that there is something in common with the two things, rather than one is the cause of the other.
I’m no expert on the only two programmes the researchers named (why name only two programmes?), Friends and Sex in the City, although I’ve been forced to sit through enough Friends on it’s endless cycle of repeats to claims of “I haven’t seen this one”. Yes you have you’ve seen them all at least four times. Sorry, I digress.
Where were we? Ah, yes, the programmes. Well, Friends I thought never had an overtly sexual theme or content to it. Yes they went on dates, they even slept with people, but nearly always in a relationship and when it wasn’t there was always some problem or other. Like Rachel getting pregnant by Ross, for instance. I can’t comment on Sex and the City because I do not watch it, and am surprised they managed to drag a full lenght film out of it, but it’s hardly aimed at 12 year olds.

Dr Chandra, a scientist with the RAND Corporation, a respected non-profit research group, said even cartoons with a sexual content can have the same effect.

Ok. Somebody enlighten me. Educate me as to which cartoons on the telly have a sexual content?
What ever you do, don’t mention abortions…too late, here she comes!

Tory MP Nadine Dorries said last night: ‘It would be interesting to see if a similar study in the UK revealed a trend. Information such as this empowers parents when making difficult decisions as to what they do and don’t allow their young daughters to watch.
‘Last year we saw girls as young as 12 aborting. Any information which could help stop even one child aborting her child has to be welcomed.’

Thanx for that excellent renta quote Nadine. But is it all the fault of the girls? Don’t the young boys have any say about whether girls get pregnant or not? How are you going to inform parents of which programmes are going to get you child up the duff, a mail shot every couple of weeks rating new programmes or inform them via the everso informed press?
All sorts of things happened last year so I don’t deny one or two 12 year old girls had abortions, but i) Are twelve year old girls really into Sex and the City? And ii) Unity has talked about abortion rates of under 14s’, to put things in perspective rather than the vague abstract of Nadiness statement, here

For the latest study, published in the American Journal of Paediatrics, researchers interviewed 2,003 youngsters three times between 2001 and 2004, asking about viewing habits, sexual behaviour and pregnancy.
By the last interview 718 said they were sexually active.

35% sexually active.

A separate analysis of programmes determined the frequency and type of sexual content. Researchers focused on 23 programmes popular with teenagers which contained high levels of sexual content – both depictions of sex and dialogue or discussion about it.

Be nice to know what programmes and what constituted ‘high levels of sexual content’.

They named only Friends and Sex and the City, but the shows included dramas, comedies, reality programmes and animations

Damn. But I do notice it says ‘They’, as in the researchers. Why would researchers on release the names of two of the programmes analysed? What else have they not released?

About 25 percent of those who watched the most sexual programmes became pregnant compared with 12 per cent of those who watched the least sexual shows

This paragraph is a bit ambigious. Does it mean 25% of the whole group who watched the most sexual programmes became pregnant? Does it mean 25% of the 35% (8.75% of the whole study group) sexually active teenagers? How many teenagers were watching the most sexual programmes. After all, the most popular programmes aren’t neccersarily the most sexual. How many of the 35% of the sexually active teenagers were girls? Your chances of getting pregnant are seriously reduced if you’re a boy.
That statement above is meaningless.

The study also found that teenagers living in a two-parent household were less likely to get pregnant, while those with behaviour and discipline problems were
more likely.

And a dig at one of the Mails favourite targets, single parents. But these two groups that have been singled out, they are more an less likely to get pregnant than who? Doing what? A girl with two parents watching lots of these progammes could be less likely to get pregnant than a girl in care who doesn’t watch any of them. These statements mean nothing on their own.

So. To sum up: Stop scaring us you bastards!!

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