Groundbreaking research suggests pregnancy rates are much higher among teenagers who watch a lot of TV with sexual dialogue and behavior compared with those who have tamer viewing tastes.
The new study is the first to link those viewing habits with teen pregnancy. It involved about 2,000 12-to-17-year-old girls and boys nationwide. They were questioned by telephone about their TV viewing habits. The teens were first interviewed in 2001, then were re-interviewed twice, the last time in 2004.
Participants were asked how often they watched any of more than 20 TV shows popular among teens at the time or which were found to have lots of sexual content. The shows included "Sex and the City," "That 70s Show" and "Friends."
Pregnancies were twice as common among teens who said they watched such shows regularly, compared with teens who said they hardly ever saw them.
The study is in the November issue of Pediatrics.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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