Children's Health

Sex scenes in movies impact sexual behavior in teens, study says

A new study has found that sex scenes in movies have an impact on the sexual behavior of teens who watch them, HealthDay News reported.

After analyzing sexual scenes and content from hundreds of top-grossing movies released between 1998 and 2004, researchers from the University of Missouri asked over 1,200 kids between the ages of 12 and 14 how many of the movies they had watched.

According to HealthDay News, the scientists followed up with the participants about their sexual behavior.  The teenagers and young adults were surveyed about when they became sexually active, if they had engaged in risky sexual behavior – such as not using condoms or having multiple sexual partners.

Those who had been exposed to the most sexual content in movies had become sexually active at younger ages and were more likely to engage in risky behavior, the study reported.

Scheduled to be published in the journal Psychological Science, the study highlighted a specific personality trait called sensation-seeking – a tendency to seek new and intense forms of stimulation that peaks from ages 10 to 15.  According to the research, the more exposure to sexual scenes in movies during youth led to a higher peak of sensation-seeking during adolescence.

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