The more teenagers watch television that is sexually suggestive (including seemingly innocuous shows such as “According to Jim,” “Friends,” and “Scrubs”), the more likely they are to participate in sexual activities themselves, and to expect to participate in those activities in the near future, according to a 2009 research study. In addition, the study revealed that the more teenagers watch sexually suggestive TV, the less likely they are to believe that sexual activity has negative consequences.
On the bright side, rule-setting by parents about how much their teenagers watch TV, and what they can and cannot watch, reduced these negative outcomes. In other words, the more parents set rules about their teenagers watching shows with sexually suggestive content, and the more parents talked with their kids about such content, the less likely the kids were to participate in sexual activities. Full results of the study can be found at: Fisher, D.A., et al. (2009). Televised sexual content and parental mediation: Influences on adolescent sexuality. Media Psychology, 12, 121-147.