New research suggests sexy scenes in films cause kids to become sexually active younger

Recent research has suggested that when children watch sex scenes in film, they are more likely to become sexually active younger. The research has highlighted that children who see films with seemingly innocent sex scenes in them, are more likely to become curious about sex at a younger age.

The research, which has come out of the University of Missouri also stated that the sex scenes are more likely to encourage children to take unnecessary sexual risks, such as not using a condom.

The research stated that watching the sex scenes can fundamentally alter the personality of a teenager and make them more prone to risk-taking. The lead researcher on the study, Ross O’Hara commented, “This research shows that if adolescents are exposed to sexual content in films then they are more likely to have sex younger. We also found that these children were also more likely to have more sexual partners, and engage in unprotected sex.”

The research is a relatively new idea as much of the research into films has previously been focused on the effects of seeing adults drink and smoke and the prevalence of these activities in younger people. Dr O’Hara continued, “It is interesting that this area has been overlooked as it is well-known that films are one of the key influences of adolescent behaviour. There has been research into the effects of sexual references in television and music on adolescents, but the amount of research when it comes to films has been limited.”

The study has been published in the journal Psychological Science, and involved over 1200 children. The study was conducted over six years, meaning that the children were 12 to 14 years old when they were first questioned, and then the sexual behaviour of these children was re-examined six years later.

The study found that wanting to watch sexual scenes in films, was related to a sensation seeking personality, something which does follow-through into later life. Dr O’Hara continued, “The fact that the children once watched the scenes and later are predisposed to greater sensation seeking, is not just related to their personalities. Our research has shown that the film is actually altering the personality in a fundamental way, and in a way that can last for several years, well into their mid-20s.”

The research also highlights other problems with young people being exposed to sex scenes in films. Is highlighted that young people could be learning sexual scripts from these films which will encourage them to get involved in sexual situations sooner.

The research analysed nearly 700 of the most popular films and assess them for sexual content. The study also found that films more recently were not portraying safe sex in the same way as they were in the past, in fact, references to contraception in films had actually declined. The teenagers were asked to list which films they had seen recently and it was found that the teenagers who watched films with sexual content, six years later, were more sexually active.