By Erin Roach
A recent study confirmed that as adolescents absorb sexual content from movies, they are more likely to attempt to live it out in real life. Statistics compiled in the study point to a major challenge for parents striving to raise godly children.
Among the data reported in the study, published in July by the Association for Psychological Science:
- One significant influence on engagement in risky sexual behavior may be media — specifically, movie sexual exposure.
- Among movies released from 1950 to 2006, roughly 85 percent contained sexual content (68 percent of G-rated movies; 82 percent of PG-rated movies; 85 percent of PG-13-rated movies; and 88 percent of R-rated movies).
- Sexual explicitness of PG-13-rated and R-rated movies has increased over the past decade.
- Seventy percent of the sexual acts depicted in movies released from 1983 to 2003 occurred between newly acquainted partners, 98 percent included no reference to contraception and 89 percent resulted in no consequences.
- Adolescents sometimes seek out sexual media, with 57 percent of U.S. adolescents ages 14 to 16 reporting that they use media as a primary source of sexual information.
- Exposure to tobacco use in movies predicts initiation and escalation of smoking, and exposure to drinking in movies predicts initiation and escalation of alcohol use.
- Adolescents have a greater tendency to seek novel and intense stimulation between the ages of 10 and 15.
Among the 1,200 children ages 12 to 14 who were surveyed initially, sensation seeking was generally low. Six years later, though, 63 percent had sexually debuted: 5 percent before age 15, 10 percent at age 15, 25 percent at age 16, 29 percent at age 17, and 31 percent at age 18 or older.
Erin Roach is assistant editor for Baptist Press.
This article comes from Baptist Press. Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press. Used by permission.