pregnant teens can now blame TV

Finally–an answer to the question, “Why do Americans experience such a high rate of teen pregnancy?” 
It’s TV’s fault! 
At least, that’s the claim of a recent study linking teen pregnancy to shows like “Sex and the City,” “Friends” and “That 70’s Show.” (The data were collected a few years ago, hence the slightly dated TV shows). 
According to the lead researcher of the study, “Watching this kind of sexual content on television is a powerful factor in increasing the likelihood of a teen pregnancy.” 
Sounds like a nice link, but I have to say I’m skeptical. While the study did look at a few other factors, like if teens lived with a single parent or wanted to have a baby, it didn’t address a number of other crucial issues.  

For example, one glaring omission was that the study failed to ask teens if they got any sex ed and, if so, what kind. If all the kids surveyed were getting abstinence-only education and taking virginity pledges, it would make a bit more sense that they weren’t able to balance what they saw on TV (like Ross and Rachel falling into bed without a condom, consequence free) with the reality of their own lives, where unprotected sex could have some pretty grim results. 
Still, I find it hard to believe that kids–even with the most basic knowledge of sex–would assume that they won’t get pregnant just because Donna and Eric had unprotected sex and stayed fetus-free. 
The study also failed to look at issues like access to birth control and health care. Could this explain why Canada–a country where the exact same TV shows are shown–has only half the teen pregnancy rate of the United States? I don’t know because this question wasn’t posed by the researchers! 
It sure would be nice to be able to blame TV for teen pregnancy, but even if there is a link, TV is not the real culprit. Our terrible sex education and health care systems are.

Posted in: Health, Sex & Relationships, The State of Sex Ed, Virginity
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  • brandi

    doesn't england have a nude television channel?

  • Bee

    I don't believe the cause is television…I think somebody had an accident and then loads of other kids copied for various reasons…a)they think its cool, b)they think it makes them more mature, c)they think they're proving something to all the other kids…However, and I don't know the situation in the states, but, when british teenagers have a child they get spoilt, for example: they're given a house, child benefits, tax credits etc… I know a few of my friends have actually said to me "I think I might 'accidently' get pregnant so I can move out of my parents house" or "I want to have a baby so I get loads of money" I think this is the main reason there is so many teenage pregnancys. It totally ridiculous but it's not going to change anytime soon!

  • elise

    teenagers cannot blame tv for getting pregnant. that's stupid. yes, television can influence teens into risky behavior but any girl with half a brain should be able to realize that if you have unprotected sex there is a posibility to get pregnant.

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    ~~~~~~~~I N T E R R A C I A L L O V I N G.COM~~~~~~~~. I guess the screenname is lovedream08 or something. Who knows what she is doing there. Maybe find her son a new father. Just kidding.(∩_∩)(∩_∩)(∩_∩)

  • LMAO! start blaming your kids for having weak minded and think sex should be appreciated lightly…
    oh, what an idiot..^^

  • roo

    I completely disagree with this. I want sexual Tv shows, movies, music videos and they do not prompt me to have sex.
    I think adults should get over this "oh tv is making my child have sex"
    No, your child is having sex bc they want to

  • Victoria

    I agree the shows can definately influence, but teens should know better than to base everything on TV. If you are 13+ and don't know how to make a decision, good luck in life.
    My sis just had her twin boys! Shes 18 though, and their names are Matty and Gabe! You're girls have such unique names (Vermina and Pukuetta)! How did you come up with them?

  • Alicia

    I strongly disagree with this. I have seen every episode of Friends at least 20 times – legit – and no where in the course of the ten years it was on the air did Ross and Rachel have unprotected spontanious sex, nor did any of the four other main characters. The only reason Rachel got prego was because they used an EXPIRED condom.
    And i think it is ablsolutely reiculous that people say TV is the reason teenage girls are getting pregnant. Its not like the TV grew arms and legs and physically forced teenagers to have sex. Teenagers have sex because they wanna have sex!!

  • piepirate21

    it's kind of like the fat people that tried to sue McDonald's. utterly useless. besides, what did teens do before Friends and That 70's Show? Wear chastity belts or something?

  • Leigha

    Personally I don't see the problem. I got pregnant at 14 with twins and i know from experience that they don't rule your life.
    (Vermina and Pukuetta are almost 2 now) (real names!)

  • Denisha

    I think those girls have nothing to blame it on, but themselves. Nobody told you to have sex b/c the girls on TV are doing it. It's called common sense, they should take responsibility on their actions. Plus ; those shows glamourize high school, it's not even real !
    – Denisha !

  • Denisha

    I think those girls have nothing to blame it on, but themselves. Nobody told you to have sex b/c the girls on TV are doing it. It’s called common sense, they should take responsibility on their actions. Plus ; those shows glamourize high school, it’s not even real !
    – Denisha !

  • monae

    first of all teens should be old enough to know the difference between wrong and right and making decisions. Blaming television is like saying oh people rape people because they see it on tv. No they rape because somehing is seriously wrong with them. As a teen I could never blame tv for making think about having sex like wtf ….thats a dumb statistic to make that tv is the blame. It's not television's fault that people follow whatever they see on tv. Some people are just fast asses

  • TJ

    This is possibly one the stupidest things I have ever heard.
    Kids should know that what they see on T.V. is fake, unless it's an episode of cops or the news. Why aren't parents monitering what their kids watch anyway, there are parental controls on almost every tv and satelite / cabel box they make, People should use them.
    When I was 16 I made the very stupid choice of having unprotected sex. And it wasn't for lack of sex ed, because I had TONS of it, and was very informed. But in the heat of the moment I was really horny and just didn't care, even with a condom near by. It was my own choice and I never blamed the T.V. because of it, and neither did my parents when they found out.
    Luckily for me I didn't get pregnant, but I realize that very I easily could have, and now it's a chance I'm no longer willing to take.
    People should stop blaming the TV and own up to what they've done

  • Amanda

    Ok, blaming this on tv is such crap. In today's world a lot of stuff causes pregnancy. Oh let's see, well first off we can say that America typically has a poor sex education program. If you're gonna have sex, why not where a condom? But, there is society today to which beliefs are made to which if its the first time there will be no consequences. Which is total bull. When I was in 8th grade I saw little 6th graders running around pregnant, and I thought that was crazy. However, reality is, that condoms don't always work they can be broken. If you're going to have sex where a condom take the pill, it would be best if you used spermicide. But hey, not everyone thinks like that. How many teens even let at least one of their parents know they're sexually-active in case something does happen? I'm not 100% sure, but I feel like I'm the only one. I use condoms and take the pill. TV can not be put to blame, you might as well say oh that's why people kill, that's why people take drugs, or steal, or anything anymore. These people who say TV is our problem just wants to put blame on something other then the teens themselves. Oh, did I mention that rape is not an option to whether or not you can get pregnant? I'm sure the rapist doesn't always think of wearing a condom, some don't care if they're caught.

  • Kelly

    Okay, I agree that it's more your fault than the TV's if you get pregnant, but no one here seems to be mentioning that it's also the GUY'S fault, too. I even saw a post that said it's "no one's fault but your own." THAT is a lie. It definitely takes 2 people…

  • gabrielle

    If they are old enough/responsible enough to have sex….they should be intelligent enough to know that it is TV! Made-up stories about made up people. I am tired of people blaming TV for all of their problems. If the TV is causing too many personal issues for you–STOP WATCHING IT.

  • Ashlee

    I can't believe that someone would waste time and money trying to link teen pregnancy in America to the shows they watch on television.
    I completely agree with the others who are saying that it's not a girl's fault she gets pregnant if she's been raped. What I don't agree with is how some of you are saying "oh, it's really easy, just say no to sex unless you've got a condom." In a situation where sex is imminent, both guy and girl are incredibly horny and no condoms are in sight, it can be incredibly difficult to 'just say no'.
    That said, if schools offered better sexual education and actually INFORMED students instead of just saying, 'Don't have sex.' then maybe the teen pregnancy rates would drop. Yes, the girls (and their sexual partners) have to take some responsibility for their actions, because, ultimately, it was their choice to have sex. But the schools need to stop being so naive and give them some actual information on sex.