Skip to comments.Sexually Suggestive Movies Profoundly Affect Teens
Posted on 08/17/2012 10:25:19 AM PDT by Kaslin
Culture Challenge of the Week: Movies "Selling" Sex to Children
Can you name the last five movies your teenage son or daughter has watched with friends? How strong was the sexual content in those movies?
And does it really matter?
New research suggests that it does. The study, conducted by Dr. Ross O'Hara and soon to be published in the journal Psychological Science, found that promiscuity on-screen promotes promiscuity in real life. "Adolescents who are exposed to more sexual content in movies start having sex at younger ages, have more sexual partners," and engage in riskier sexual activities says Dr. O'Hara.
While at Dartmouth University, Dr. O'Hara (now a researcher at the University of Missouri) and his team analyzed the movie-watching patterns of about 1,200 young teens, ages 12-14. Researchers next analyzed the teens' sexual behavior six years later, considering the age at which they became sexually active, their number of partners, and the riskiness of their sexual activity, including whether or not they used contraceptives.
The result: bad news. Young teens who viewed movies with sexual content were profoundly influenced by what they watched. They initiated sexual behavior earlier than their peers who viewed less sexual content, and tended to imitate the on-screen sexual behaviors they saw-which included casual sex, multiple partners, and high-risk behaviors.
It's not surprising, really. Teens crave information about sex--and too often turn to the media for information. Moreover, adolescent hormones operate in overdrive and teens are naturally more sensitive to sexual stimulation. Less likely to delay gratification, teens are more likely to be impulsive and think themselves impervious to harm. The combination, researchers say, means that "sensation seeking, or the tendency to seek more novel and intense sexual stimulation" increases in teens who "watched more movies with sexually explicit content."
So what should parents do?
How to save your Family: Select Movies with Your Children
Dr. O'Hara sums it up well, saying, "This study, and its confluence with other work, strongly suggests that parents need to restrict their children from seeing sexual content in movies at young ages."
Agreed. But unfortunately, the solution is not as simple as checking a movie's rating. In fact, G-rated movies are part of the problem. The O'Hara study also analyzed the sexual content in 700 films, all top-grossing films from 1998-2004. Defining "sexual content" as anything from heavy kissing to actual sex scenes, researchers found sexual content in more than a third of the G-rated movies, more than half of PG-rated films, and four out of every five R-rated movies.
Short of prohibiting movies all together-an unwise and unworkable solution--there are some things a parent can do. First, use websites that provide specific information about movie content, rather than a reviewer's judgment about an appropriate viewing age.
Websites like Pluggedin.com and Movieguide provide not only specifics about movie content but also analysis from a Christian perspective. (PluggedIn offers reviews of music and gaming products as well.) Two straightforward secular sources are Screenit and Kids-in-mind-both provide valuable descriptions of specific movie content, including sexuality, violence, and language. One caution-a few websites, such as CommonSense Media, offer age-ratings to help guide parents. But organizations which lean left, as CommonSense Media does, or are tied in tightly with entertainment industry folks, can't be relied on by parents who want to raise children with traditional values. The Parent's Television Council at www.ParentsTV.org is an excellent resource for information on the content of popular TV shows and offers great movie reviews.
Second, talk with your children about sex. While sex won't be a casual dinnertime conversation topic, you need to create private time with your teens to explore their feelings and questions about sex. If we're silent, our teens will learn about sex from friends and the movies-a route that's sure to normalize sexual risk-taking.
Third, stay in the loop. Talk with other parents and get to know your teen's friends. Realize that at some point your child probably will see something too sexually explicit, whether at a friend's house or on a computer. Keep the conversations going and remind your teens that Hollywood is a world without consequences.
Of course they do. Common sense was ahead of psychological research.
Why do you think they are putting so many Homosexuals on TV these days.
They know kids are affected by it. It doesn’t take a study to know that, Porn is rampant it didn’t get that way because it doesn’t affect people.
Hollywood used to sell cigarettes and booze, now they sell drugs and sex.
I hook up due to “Something about Mary”.. lol.. tomfoolery..
I can help but wonder if it has more to do with the parents than the movies. Surly the parents of these children where the ones allowing them to watch the films to begin with. This sounds to me to be another excuse for bad parenting blame the movies and video games.
Bingo !! No wonder obammma was a shoe in. We didn’t need the idiot mccain, we could have run President Reagan. The media molds the youth. It’s now fine for two guys to make out center stage. I can hardly wait for the pony show to start
There are no more “sexually suggestive” movies.
They pretty much put all the sex right out there front and center, for all the world to see, in eye-popping 1080i.
I have no doubt it affects adults too. And I think about what we (virtually all of us I suspect) accept as fine and dandy in entertainment today. Check it out. You cannot watch much of anything (I would say anything but someone could probably produce something so I’ll hedge there) that doesn’t have some sexual component that would have been considered not acceptable for all audiences when I was a child (which really was not THAT long ago).
The culture has changed in a short 30 years into something I barely recognize and people in their lives now accept what when I was a kid was not considered acceptable. We look a lot more now, like what the movies were showing as cool, then.
How about all those slasher movies where the kids fornicate and then get hacked into pieces by the evil character like Jason??? Is that an accidental moral lesson or just fun?
Or does it cause future disfunction of you-know-what?
When will we see a horror movie where gays fornicating in public bathrooms are caught by the slasher and hacked to pieces??
That would be entertaining, start with Barney Frank and Jonathan Capart look-a-like characters.
Equal rights man. LOL
Hollywood is more concerned with polluted rivers than polluted minds.
Liberals constantly claim violence is worse than sex in movies but I don’t see them as close. 99% of movie violence is fantastic and unreal but the sex is realistic except that nothing bad ever happens from the sex.
Parents are to blame of course. Many don’t seem to have any morals themselves. Monica Lewinskys parents turned out to be not that uncommon. That was an eye opener for me.
“...tart with Barney Frank and Jonathan Capart look-a-like characters...”
Damn, SOL, I just ate....argh....
And parents are helpless to control what movies their children watch.
It’s in your face all the time...on tv & internet (now in libraries), in newspapers, in magazines, in movies, in advertisement, on billboards, all in prominent places, near schools, near/in restaurants, even near churches, near ball fields and parks...how can people not think that it doesn’t have an adverse effect on children: promiscuity, pornography, homosexuality and other unnatural acts, adultery, divorce, sexual abuse, pedophilia, and on and on...our children in this country are encouraged to experiment in such things, even in our schools, and there are precious few people in our government who say anything against it.
I was laughing at the thought.
I assume Capart actor would play the receiver (you know the female role) given his high pitched winy voice, then the Jason hatchet comes down with them both screaming and guts flying, “WHATT???...HELP....NOOOO!!! STOP!!!.... EEEEAHHHHH..... crickets
LOL. it's Friday dude
When I was a kid growing up in the 50s, if I wanted to go see a movie, my mother would check the back page of the Michigan Catholic. If it was rated “A” we could go. If it were a “B” then it was questionable. If it were a “C,” forget about it! In 2012, there aren’t too many flicks these days that would qualify for an “A.”
Lettuce be real..this suggestion is a joke in real life practice.
After you watch a G rated family movie with your little Johnnie and Susie they go up to their room and fire up the internet to watch free harcore porn...and young girls are some of the largest viewers of porn today.
yep. the biggest problem is there is no alternative. Everything they put on TV these days pushes that crap
I was playing SOCOM and Grand Theft Auto when I was 18, and I didn’t go on any killing sprees.
i bet bwanny is used to bloodletting during rough sex tho, so hed prolly help with the hackin...
When each one of my children began dating, I had some really good talks with them about respecting their own body and the body of the one they were dating. I said things like, "Don't spend a lot of time necking." "Respect her enough not to touch her where a two-piece bathing suit would be on her body." "If its good it can wait."
As parents we have to be very sensitive to our own children. We are the only ones who have been with them since birth and we are the only ones who should teach them such a subject. We can't expect a school system or a website to do our job for us.
>>And parents are helpless to control what movies their children watch.<<
Sometimes, they are.
First some parents put kids into daycare. They have no control over what the kids see. A good daycare, they are watching Sesame Street and Disney. A not so good one and it’s Jerry Springer and Oprah.
Now, the kid goes to school. Teachers control what those students see. Be it “An Inconvenient Truth” or “The Story of Stuff”. The kids go to daycare after. See above.
A couple years later, the kids are old enough to stay home by themselves. Cable, internet, free reign.
We make choices. Personally, I chose to be in control of my kids from birth. At 12 and 14, they have yet to see an R rated movie and anything over PG, I view first. We watch them together after I’ve seen them and we discuss.
It’s on purpose. Let them get pregnant; now they’re dependent on govt.
>>After you watch a G rated family movie with your little Johnnie and Susie they go up to their room and fire up the internet to watch free harcore porn...and young girls are some of the largest viewers of porn today. <<
Look, you’re on the wrong site to be assuming and chastising parents.
Most of us have kids who DON’T have internet in their rooms and most also have NO tvs.
Assume that parents here put in an effort, you’ll do better. I write this as my kids sit across the room on computers which I can SEE. We have a very open relationship. There have been times that they have seen things I didn’t want them to and they didn’t want to see themselves, especially when we switched from Google to Bing and forgot the controls. I saw it with them and we discussed. Period.
While we are strolling down memory lane : when I was a kid in early 70s era we only had 4 TV stations where I lived total boredom; but my grandmother lived in a big city (owned both a house and yard) and they got 7 VHF channels and a few more UHF channels and they were packed with old movies and TV shows from the 50s and 60s all day and night, Every Saturday they had three stations competing for Creature Feature, Chiller and (I cant remember the other one’s ) black and white horror and Sci-FI movies,
Sunday was Abbott and Costello and Bowery Boys movies. Marx Brothers, Cagney, Flynn, Rathbone as Sherlock Holms (every weekend too_), it was great,
Every-time an old movie I saw then turns up on TCM I DVR aand then enjoy it. Compare that with the total CRAP on Scy-FY channel. In the 50s and 60s they had to have a plot and act in a movie, there was no computer animation and underwear models who can barely read a dull script.
>>yep. the biggest problem is there is no alternative. Everything they put on TV these days pushes that crap<<
Yes there is. Pull your cable and go to Netflix, Vudu and Amazon.
Select what is on.
Thank you for raising great kids!
I think that's sick-o-dude LOL.
You can thank advancements in HIV drugs for having BWFrank around congress and on TV.
Most of that stuff bores me now, I need more interesting plots..
I'm just being realistic NMM and don't have my head in the sand over what kids are doing today.Kids today are viewing tons of porn no matter how tight their parents think they are controlling it from their kids lives.
I have only been out of HS for 8 years but remember 2 things well:
The kids who had the most strict/religious parents were in many cases if not majority of the cases the most wild kids and school and the biggest viewers of porn.
Kids are viewing porn today even though they have no internet and TV's in their room. They are going to friends homes who do and they download porn and pass it around on DVD's. Just like Jeff Goldblums famous line in Jurassic Park.." Nature finds a way"
You are not the norm either in terms of not having TV/internet in kids rooms. Most kids today, the vast majority have their own TV an internet in their bedrooms.
Am I telling parents to let their kids go Helter Skelter? NO. But don't be so controlling and strict your kids rebel..gotta cut the cord sometime and let them learn to be adults on their own.
Finally, do you realize how kids joke today about how easy it is today to bypass their parents family controls on the internet??? A monkey can do it.
Bingo, we have a winner !
I'd want to see an example of the "heavy kissing" in the G-rated movie. Does it count if the characters are animated talking animals? Barbie and Ken dolls?
What's "heavy kissing," anyway? Kissing between fat people?
I retired in Aug 1997 and returned to the USA. The first sitcom I watched when I got back was “Just Shoot Me.”. I watched about half of itnbeforenturning it off in disgust. Now, the only times that I see this rubbish is when they play a promo for them. My sisters/ brothers-in-law, intelligent people usually, LOVE some of this tripe.
Your post #33 to netmilsmom...you are generalizing and speaking from only your experience, which is rather limited. There are many kids being brought up the way NMM is saying—I’ve known hundreds of them over the years. A lot of them are homeschoolers and come from Christian families. Nice thing about it that I’ve observed over these past 15 years or so is that they come from large families.
>> The kids who had the most strict/religious parents were in many cases if not majority...
Subjective, non-scientific opinion, and not germane to the value of establishing reasonable moral rules/walls. The “strict/religious” stereotype is an overused Liberal method of attack against the Right. Consider the trends of fatherless homes.
>> Kids are viewing porn today even though they have no internet and TV’s in their room. They are going to friends homes ...
No doubt, and not to forget portable devices.
The internet feed into a home CAN be secured, but I doubt many go the distance to ensure it’s locked down to the expected level.
The Ender’s Game movie November next year shouldn’t have anything sexual in it.
What do you do regarding music?
I keep throwing my personal interests around, but try picking up Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card if you haven't already.
I can no longer watch sit-comes nor broadcast TV shows. There are few TV shows that I can stand.
One show I really loved, it had some violence and sexual references in it, but was really well done was Showtime’s : The Tutor.
It was 4 seasons representing historical drama Henry VIII(8)s adult life. It was done with great scripts, acting and some interesting characters. The visuals were fantastic
This was very rare, It was the music and scenery/visuals in the show opening that lured me in
Hmm that actually looks interesting. :)
Before WW 2, and for all I know, still today, little pocket size porno comic books used to be sold with condoms. When I was 12, one of these got circulated among the 7th grade boys at my school. I still remember the profound shock I got from reading this thing. It was a crude parody of a popular daily comic strip; the first piece of porno I had ever seen. I can’t imagine how much greater the effect of current TV would be on similar age boys, although I suppose schools now give them more of an introduction than we got back then.
Frankly, when there is no envelope to push, all of this stuff just gets boring.
I assume you mean “The Tudors,” as opposed to something to do with preparing for the SAT ... although that might be an amusing reality show.
I saw part of one episode when my husband put it on Netflix, said, “I’m not watching this filth,” and went to bed with a cat.
Yeah, but being mentally ill as theyare, he’d probably LIKE the hatchet thingy...
Ya’s never knows...ya’s just never does..
Exactly, and the problem is, it has moved the *norm* over. It’s normal and *ok* now to have a baby (or at least be pregnant) before you get married, for instance. If you even bother to get married. Remember the big flap when Murphy Brown did that and they said, “Oh come ON people will not emulate that just because it’s on TV”. Riiiiiiiight.