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The study, published in Psychological Science, found that the more teens were exposed to sexual content in movies, the earlier they started having sex and the likelier they were to have casual, unprotected sex.In another study, boys who were exposed to sexually explicit media were three times more likely to engage in oral sex and intercourse two years after exposure than non-exposed boys.
If people seek to act out what they see, they may be more likely to commit sexual assault, rape or child molestation.
Young girls exposed to sexual content in the media were twice as likely to engage in oral sex and one and a half times more likely to have intercourse.
Research also shows that teens who listened to music with degrading sexual references were more likely to have sex than those who had less exposure.
Media messages normalize early sexual experimentation and portray sex as casual, unprotected and consequence-free, encouraging sexual activity long before children are emotionally, socially or intellectually ready. The earlier a child is exposed to sexual content and begins having sex, the likelier they are to engage in high-risk sex.
Research shows that children who have sex by age 13 are more likely to have multiple sexual partners, engage in frequent intercourse, have unprotected sex and use drugs or alcohol before sex. Jennings Bryant, more than 66 percent of boys and 40 percent of girls reported wanting to try some of the sexual behaviors they saw in the media (and by high school, many had done so), which increases the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. Not every child who is exposed to sexual content will struggle with a mental health disorder, but research shows that early exposure to pornography is a risk factor for sex addictions and other intimacy disorders.
Here are a few ways that you as a parent can ensure your message is heard: • Know what your children are watching, playing and listening to and take advantage of teachable moments to discuss any inappropriate content or behaviors with them. • Make use of Internet filters and parental controls.