Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (10.17.11) - Friday, October 28,
Speaking ahead of the Pregnant Adolescent Childcare Training
program at the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit on Oct. 21 in
Greensburg, Christine Black of Indiana University of
Pennsylvania (IUP) discussed the possible influence of
sexually explicit TV programs on teen behavior.
"Yes, exposure to sexually explicit material has been shown to
influence sexual initiation in some studies. ... On the other
hand, these shows can also lead to discussion and risk
information," said Black, a health and physical education
professor at IUP.
Black said studies show that "kids are postponing early
[sexual] initiation." "But if you go by anecdotal evidence in
Western Pennsylvania, the kids are coming in younger and
younger for birth control and other issues." Such evidence
must be considered, she said, since it is difficult to get
statistical studies for children not yet in high school.
"Tweens," or youths ages eight to 12, do mimic the behavior of
older youths, Black observed. "They just aspire to be older
than their years now. ... If you want to see the impact of the
media, look at what little kids are wearing."
A positive development is that teens today are more likely to
practice safe sex than youths in the 1990s, said Black.