Using a national, telephone survey of 1,762 adolescents ages 12-17, this study identifies the prospective predictors of exposure to television’s sexual content, with particular emphasis on the contributions of teenagers’ sexual readiness versus household television policies. Though believing that one’s friends approve of sex and having greater noncoital sexual experience predicted heavier viewing of sexual content in the subsequent year, household restrictions had a nearly equal and opposite effect. In particular, having a television in the bedroom and spending more time at home unsupervised at baseline were associated with heavier viewing of sexual content one year later. In addition, Black, female, younger, and more highly viewer-involved teens watched significantly more sexually oriented television than did other groups. Results are considered in light of recent findings showing that heavier viewing of televised sexual content leads to more rapid initiation of sexual intercourse in the subsequent year (Collins et al., 2004).
Reprinted with permission from Media Psychology, Vol. 8, No. 4, Dec. 2006, pp. 449-471. Copyright © 2006 Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Originally published in: Media Psychology, Vol. 8, No. 4, Dec. 2006, pp. 449-471.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.