|   Log In

Music & Culture

Promiscuity in Movies Influences Teens to Have Sex Early

Do you think the movies you watch influence how you behave? A recent study sure suggests it does!

In the Dartmouth University study, psychology scientists suggest that kids who watch movies containing sexual content are more likely to begin having sex at a much younger age than those who don’t. They also have more casual sexual relationships.

The longitudinal study, titled, “Greater Exposure to Sexual Content in Popular Movies Predicts Earlier Sexual Debut and Increased Risk Taking,” put together a list of hundreds of popular movies. They then coded each movie according to its sexual content, ranging from passionate kissing to sex scenes. Finally, the team interviewed 1,230 teens between the ages of 12 and 14, asking them which of the movies they watched.

Kids who are watching more of these movies lose their virginity at a younger age (Ross O’Hara, Lead Author).

Six years later, the research team interviewed the same teens, now young adults. They questioned their sexual behavior and made their conclusion, as stated above.

Sexual content may accelerate the normal rise of sensation seeking during adolescence, thereby promoting risky behavior (study).

This study reflects much of what we have discussed here on Project Inspired. Posts such as Is Dakota Fanning’s New Movie a Bad Message for Girls?, Do You Want More God-Honoring Shows on TV? We Do Too!, and Friends with Benefits: Not! all discuss the danger of movies and shows that put sex in the forefront of their storyline. We have felt such shows are bad influences on young girls because they promote sexual behavior. Our concerns have always been that these shows and movies will encourage bad behavior from the girls who watch them.

This study is an indication that our concerns are valid. The media is constantly offering young viewers television shows and movies that include sexual content in some form, and the extent of that content is getting more risqué because young viewers have become desensitized to anything less.

Therefore, we continue to urge you ladies to be very vigilant about the movies and shows that you watch.

I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. (Psalm 101 verse 3)

“Greater Exposure to Sexual Content in Popular Movies Predicts Earlier Sexual Debut and Increased Risk Taking” is a truth that can’t be ignored. I believe that these shows do encourage young girls to stray away from what Christ teaches us through scripture. So the only solution at this point–since Hollywood has its own agenda–is to stay away from these movies and shows. Don’t watch them. Put God first.

Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body. What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:18-19)

PI ladies, what do you think about this study? Do you believe that watching movies with sexual content influences girls to have sex earlier in their lives?

Image: Thinkstock | istockphoto

POST A COMMENT

You must be logged in to post a comment.

34 Comments

  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by lovejoypeacebell@hotmail.com on May 7, 2014 at 18:57

    Thank you for this article. I completely agree! 🙂

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by samanthacocove on November 17, 2012 at 13:56

    completely agree.

  3. horse-lover

    Posted by horse-lover on September 29, 2012 at 10:02

    This is why I don’t like chick-flicks. At all. Of course, there are some good ones out there, and other genres of movies can get definitely racy too, but the romances are getting more and more risque as the days go by. It’s to the point where I’m beginning to think that these stories are not love stories, they are lust stories. And it sickens me. What happened to the days where in movies and books, a man and a woman loved each other for their hearts, not their bodies (by the way, if you want a good love story, read “The Return of the King” by J.R.R. Tolkien (who was a Christian, by the way!). The love story is in the chapter “The Steward and the King,” and it’s fifty pages of amazing, even though the font is TINY.) I’m currently writing a book, and at the beginning of the story, the couple (even though at this point they don’t know they’ll end up that way)start out as best friends who have known each other since they were five, and when the book starts out, the boy is eighteen and the girl is very VERY close to turning eighteen. Throughout the course of the story, she eventually figures out that she loves him, and he finally admits to her that he loves her, after being too afraid to do it beforehand. Then again, the love story is not central to the plot, but it is there, and since it is there, I want to show the world what a real love story is: a man and a woman after each other’s HEARTS, the way GOD wants it to be.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by emilykl on November 12, 2012 at 11:14

      Karen Kingsbury books are great if you love romances but want to stay pure. Since she is a strong women of God her characters look to their faith for guidance in their relationships and don’t become lustful.

      • horse-lover

        Posted by horse-lover on September 5, 2014 at 20:43

        My mom actually just introduced me to her books lately! I’ve read three of them. I should have bawled at all of them but apparently I have no soul…hahahaha. She is truly great.

  4. amberfishnets00

    Posted by amberfishnets00 on September 8, 2012 at 11:07

    So no kissing scenes?

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by ajwilson412 on September 6, 2012 at 19:06

    I definitely believe that these movies encourage us to be more sexually promiscuous and they encourage us to not value our sexuality as beautiful. By beholding…we become change 2 Corinthians 3:18 so if we are beholding things that promote a lifestyle that isn’t Godly…we’ll be changed to that. So I definitely agree…
    It’s just really hard not to watch these things since 1. there is so much of it and 2. our friends watch it AND we secretly (or not so secretly) desire to watch it all too. So I would like more to talk about how to stop watching these things…what alternatives could we use and how do we get rid of our desire to watch these things? How do we lose interest in them? I think that would be great to discuss! 🙂

  6. Project Inspired

    Posted by Journalistlove on August 28, 2012 at 11:25

    I can’t really stand watching movies like that because it just puts disturbing images in my head. I love the actors but I really don’t think it makes much sense for movies to show scenes like that. Plus, I’ve been traumatized in REAL life before so why would I want to retraumatize myself watching movies with inappropriate content????

  7. Project Inspired

    Posted by Brittany Bruce on August 25, 2012 at 06:44

    I believe in saving your sleds for marriage .

  8. Project Inspired

    Posted by misssproat on August 21, 2012 at 10:12

    I think this article is true, but I also think that you could watch these movies and not have sex at an early age because it is a choice.

  9. Project Inspired

    Posted by AliNichole on August 20, 2012 at 20:57

    Yeah, I agree. Ive always told myself it doesnt matter like im not going to do it but the past relationship i was just in i never thought i would do that stuff either and just thinking about this it is true and i have a really hard time putting god first with anything really and i am now trying to make our relationship stronger and i think i really do need to give somethings up. They arent bad but they are still effecting me ya know?

  10. Paris

    Posted by Paris on August 19, 2012 at 21:54

    Yes,movies with sex do influence to have sex early because it’s telling them that a boy will only like them if they have sex with them or will stay with them if they “give it up.”

  11. Project Inspired

    Posted by Kathrie on August 19, 2012 at 06:52

    Maybe I should stop watching Glee….

  12. Nellie

    Posted by Nellie on August 18, 2012 at 21:15

    I have been thinking about something similar to this alot recently. I dont usually watch TV, but in the summertime I have more time to spare. I have noticed that so many new shows on the teennick channel all have many similarities… all the characters have brittish accents(which isn’t a problem, just something odd i noticed), they all take place when the characters are in high school or college, and the total plot of the entire stories are relationships, and they are all unhealthy ones. And i mean, girls and boys alike probably from 12 and up watch these shows, and … they all promote bad behavior. Like the newest one, “Slide” has a commercial that introduces all of the characters by saying one personality trait or something about them, and one has an “authority problem” and it shows them running from the police… then it says “You’re only young once” and shows them all laughing and having a great time. And another commercial shows kiss scene after kiss scene and asks what will happen next. i think it is all very unhealthy for people of that age group to be watching! And so many movies as well! This article and the study is so right!

  13. Project Inspired

    Posted by IamLaura on August 18, 2012 at 16:33

    It is an influence. If you watch a movie about it, you think about it more.
    But, at the same time, correlation does not equal causation!

  14. Project Inspired

    Posted by Jackie on August 18, 2012 at 13:18

    a good way and reason to watch movies is to put God first and use the movies that you watch to show you what the Lord is talkin about and tie it in with the Bible the better yourselve and others in the Lord…movies gives us Christians a chance to see how others think and what is goin on in the world.. 🙂

  15. Nicolemariev

    Posted by Nicolemariev on August 18, 2012 at 13:13

    I definitely agree that watching movies with sexual content influences girls to have sex earlier. It makes them feel like they are missing out on some big, thrilling experience. What the movies don’t always show is that after that oh-so-magical moment, there’s no guarantee the guy will stay around! Also, the glamorization of sex in movies makes people have these super-high expectations, which leads to them having sex before marriage to see if they’re “sexually compatible.” As Joshua Harris says, sex is not a sport, with score cards. It shouldn’t be treated as one. If you wait until you’re married, then you have no one to compare your husband to. It’s just him. So don’t believe these movies–take ’em with a grain of salt, and most of them aren’t worth watching anyway!

  16. Project Inspired

    Posted by TFaulders on August 18, 2012 at 10:42

    Thank you for the excellent recommendations: The Dartmouth study and the Pluggedin link. A young actor who reveals too much in a movie is insecure and is looking for a hug. And a young person that has dinner five nights a week with warm parents doesn’t care about lame movies with insecure actors. Kim Kardashian would possibly love to have dinner with me, my loyal parents and three cool brothers. But of course, she’s not invited.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by evangelight on August 18, 2012 at 16:50

      Whoa! Be careful n with your words. Maybe that’s part of the problem that Christians don’t try to befriend the lost.. I would love to meet her and invite her to my home and share the good news of Jesus w/ her. Gods word tells us to remember the pit from which WE were dug. Please kindly reconsider your statement. God bless u.

  17. Project Inspired

    Posted by KPetts on August 18, 2012 at 07:59

    I totally agree with this article!

  18. Project Inspired

    Posted by evangelight on August 18, 2012 at 07:06

    “it shall no cleave to me” True statement for sure. The visual memory as well as audio is hard to shake off. I went to see “Sparkle” just yesterday and was shocked to see the young star w/ cleavage to the waist looking as bad as a prostitute yet boasting in the movie she was a virgin! God help us. The movie was produced by a so called Christian company. I will avoid their films from now on. There were too many mixed messages. In one scene the girl was killing her boyfriend using a fir iron and some young ladies in the theater were loudly cheering. More violence more sex it seems is the cry of our youth. The study is right on….desensitized. Thanks Nicole for being a “watchman on the wall”

  19. Livelikeurdying

    Posted by Livelikeurdying on August 17, 2012 at 19:21

    Whenever I go to the theater, I check this website called pluggedin.com and it TELLS everything from violence to sexual content. But yeah totally agree about not watching those things that can influence you. I hate it how 12 year old kids are watching those kind of movies..CRAZY.

    • YoucatMarie

      Posted by YoucatMarie on August 18, 2012 at 10:30

      The website that I usually use is commonsensemedia.org, which bases their reviews on child development guidelines and picks out the potential positive and negative messages in things like movies and TV shows, apps, music, etc. I’ve never heard of pluggedin.com before, but it never hurts to check it out…

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by a2j on August 18, 2012 at 09:10

      just thought i’d make a small correction, pluggedinonline.com 🙂 i use that site too! it’s really helpful. but i didn’t know it had to have the word “online” in its url and just typed in “pluggedin” and brought me to a page that wasn’t so God-honoring, just thought i’d give everyone a fair warning 🙂

      • Livelikeurdying

        Posted by Livelikeurdying on August 19, 2012 at 10:54

        Oh sorry!! Haha, but anyway its an awesome site! Sorry again, I wasnt thinking…

  20. leahgrace99

    Posted by leahgrace99 on August 17, 2012 at 14:01

    I think that this study is pretty much on target, but I think it depends on the person. I have noticed that when I watch a movie with friends that has romance in it, there are two responses to it. 1) Ewww…seriously cut the crazy kissing….and 2) Aww, so cute…and then they start talking about their crush our special someone. Before I am aloud to watch a movie it has to go through my parents first. We always check a website called pluggedin.com. It has great reviews for movies(positive elements, spiritual elements, sexual content, violence, Drinking/drugs, and violence), music and video games! Thanks for the article!!

  21. Project Inspired

    Posted by on August 17, 2012 at 12:21

    Actually, the title of this post does not accurately reflect the findings of the study. All that the study shows is that teens who what more explicit movies tend to be more sexually active. It doesn’t prove that watching those movies CAUSES teens to behave that way. Although that may be true (and I’m not saying that it’s not), it isn’t proven by the article. There could be other reasons why the two are correlated. For instance, parents who are more lenient about the appropriateness of movies might also be more lenient about sexual relationships for teenagers. So, in that case, watching the movies doesn’t cause the behavior, rather, the movies and the behavior are both caused by the parent’s attitude.

    • tmgaouette

      Posted by tmgaouette on August 17, 2012 at 18:01

      Thank you for your comment. Just to clarify, in the title of this post I use the word “influences” not “causes.” To influence is not to cause. And of course there’s no way that this study -or any other- could ever really state that in this specific case, something psychological like this could directly “cause” this end result. I’m guessing -since I’m no scientist- that this is probably as close as any study can get to finding a link. Whether parenting played a part is irrelevant in this study. Additionally, I wrote that the study “suggests” that sexually provocative movies lead to this. Which I believe it does. The study had enough of a link that the scientists felt the need to publish their findings. If it’s that important, and it’s relevant to our young readers, then I will share it with them. Thanks again for commenting and God bless.

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by 1_artist on August 18, 2012 at 09:44

        Agreed. I ‘liked’ this article too, especially since I know it’s all true. 🙂

  22. Project Inspired

    Posted by hugsnkisses0706 on August 17, 2012 at 09:53

    ya at first i thought how can tv distract us from god? but this week actually i realized i was watching the kardashians and their explicit content is too extreme… even though i watch these shows with discretion, it still kinda makes me think thats how society is and maybe im doing something wrong.. but thats not it! even though im 16 i still think these things that the media puts out is EXTREMELY disgusting and even though i have discernment… i cant bear to watch it! ITS TOO GROSS!

  23. IdaPahus

    Posted by IdaPahus on August 17, 2012 at 00:11

    It’s great to hear this!