Was Mom right after all? Did all those dirty movies really warp your mind?
Dartmouth College has just released a study that claims that kids between the ages of 12 and 14 who were exposed to sexual content in movies had more sexual partners at an earlier age (and engaged in less safe sex with them).
The report claims that "for every hour of exposure to sexual content on-screen, participants were more than five times more likely to lose their virginity within six years." The study also analyzed 684 of the highest-grossing films released between 1998 and 2004 for "sexual content" (including everything from sex scenes to "heavy kissing") and found that, as the Telegraph reports:
"Films with the most sexual content were Summer of Sam, a Spike Lee crime film about a series of 1970s murders in New York (323 seconds), 40 Days of 40 Nights, staring Josh Hartnett who tries to stay celibate during Lent (207 seconds) and American Pie, about a group of high school students trying to lose their virginity (206 seconds). Even children’s films were found to have sexual content such the G-rated the Princess Diaries (42 seconds)."
Dr. Ross O'Hara, who led the study, concludes that “These movies appear to fundamentally influence [teens'] personality through changes in sensation-seeking, which has far-reaching implications for all of their risk-taking behaviours.”
"Sexual content" like kissing? Whatever you say, Mr. Hays. (Who was your control group, anyway? Amish people?) And consider the age range studied. Kids between the ages of 12 and 14 losing their virginity within 6 years (i.e., between 18 and 20)? We have a feeling that has less to do with American Pie and Summer of Sam than with senior prom and freshman dorm rooms. So take this study with a grain of salt- maybe there's some truth to it, maybe there isn't.
But there's one thing that is still definitely NOT true: that masturbation gives you hairy palms. Trust us, we've been conducting research on the topic for decades.
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