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Sex and the Media


Sex and the Media

by Kenneth Lyen

Early sexual intercourse in teenagers can lead to health issues, such as unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. It has long been suspected that watching sex on TV and movies has been responsible, at least in part, in promoting early sexual initiation.

This has now been confirmed by a study done at the University of California at Santa Barbara published in the September 2004 issue of Pediatrics. Some 1792 teenagers aged 12 to 17 years were studied for one year. Their sexual behaviour was correlated with a scientific analysis of TV sexual content. It was found that the more TV with sexual content watched, the earlier the sexual initiation.

The paediatricians recommended either a reduction in adolescent exposure to sexual content, or to have the parents watch TV with their teenage children, and to discuss their own beliefs about sexual behaviour.

Jack Samad, producer of the Sex & Young America curriculum, and senior vice president for Internet Safety and Strategic Partnerships, commented: "This study flies in the face of those who claim that what we watch has no impact on our behavior." He advised: "While parents certainly need to be willing to be the 'bad guys' and monitor their kids' TV viewing, this also should be a loud wake-up call for the broadcast and cable industries to offer programming that won't send kids the message that sex with anybody at any time is free of consequences."

Singapore’s Programmes Advisory Committee has just published their annual TV report and recommended that programmes of an adult nature, meaning explicit sex and excessive violence, should not be shown before 10 pm. In general, it has been observed that Singapore’s TV programmes are already quite strictly regulated, and that there is relatively little sex on public TV.

However, with the declining birth rate, the Singapore Government is a little concerned that too much restriction may dampen the sentiments of the younger population to get married or produce babies. Hence there is a conflict between those who want relaxation of materials shown on TV so as to promote population growth, and others who want stricter regulation to reduce teenage sex, unwanted pregnancies and infectious hazards.

The power of sex videos to stimulate pregnancy has recently been confirmed by an unexpected source. Chinese panda, Hua Mei, was shown a series of sex videos to prepare her for mating with another panda, because "experts feared she had little knowledge of mating after living in captivity". This seems to have done the trick because she has recently given birth to twins.

There must be something to learn from this. Perhaps specially made sex videos can be distributed free to newly married couples? Take two videos and see me next month! Hee hee!!