"Television can make your teenager pregnant," said Lisa Belkin in The New York Times online. "Not directly, of course." But a study released Monday in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics found that teens who saw the most kissing, racy conversation, and sex scenes on TV were twice as likely to become pregnant or get a partner pregnant than those who saw the least.
So the solution for parents is to lock up the TV, right? asked Laura T. Coffey in MSNBC. Wrong. The authors of the RAND Corp. study advised parents to simply talk with their kids about what they see on television, "and, whenever possible and practical, to watch TV with them."
This may be the first study to link teen pregnancy with sex on TV, said OK! magazine, but blaming Hollywood stars for "glamorizing teen pregnancy" is nothing new. "High-profile young moms like Jamie Lynn Spears and Bristol Palin and movies like 'Juno' are often pointed at as contributing to the problem."
The truth is that there are many outside factors that can change the way teenagers act, said Marc Moore in PoliGazette. The solution is always the same—parents have to get involved and keep their kids on the right path. These days, moms and dads have to "take up the matter of sex and marriage with their kids at an earlier age than ever before—before it's too late."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- The dangers of our passionless American life
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The amazing resurrection of Mitt Romney
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- 4 strategies for organizing your money, based on your personality
- The essential techniques that every home cook should know
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
- Even critics of the euro didn't see this coming
Subscribe to the Week