Reality dating correlation teens
Approximately billion is spent every year on television advertising. It is spent in the hopes that by seeing something on television, people will think or act in some desired fashion.Judging by the reaction to a new study on television’s effect on our kids, that billion might better be used as kindling.The study by the Rand Corporation followed 2,000 kids between the ages of 12 and 17 for three years.It asked them about “their television viewing habits and sexual behavior.” The shows they reported watching were analyzed “to determine the frequency and type of sexual content the adolescents were exposed to during their TV viewing.” The researchers found that adolescents with “high levels of exposure” to television shows containing “sexual content” were twice as likely to be “involved in a pregnancy” as those with less exposure.The researchers acknowledge, as social scientists do, that correlation isn’t causality.Watching television shows with “sexual content” didn’t cause kids to have sex and get pregnant. As Anita Chandra, the lead author, said, “Television is just one part of a teenager’s media diet that helps to influence their behavior.” The key word, you see, is “influence.” Teenagers are people, not robots, and they can’t be programmed.But their attitudes, values, and actions can be shaped by what they watch.This seems obvious, but both the people who produce these kinds of shows as well as their audience, deny any connection. The creator of the racy show had the audacity to tell NPR that “teens were having sex and getting pregnant ‘long before there was even television.’” Talk about missing the point.
Our trips to the movies wouldn’t include the now-mandatory ads for cars, soft drinks, and all the other stuff companies want us to buy.
Likewise, we wouldn’t ban cigarette ads from television, and there wouldn’t be a fuss over people smoking on TV and in movies.
No one would care about the impact of these images on “impressionable” teenagers.
After all, people were smoking long before there was television and even the movies, right? We know that, as writer Terry Mattingly says, images have a cumulative affect on our souls and dispositions.
One by one, they shape our imaginations, and, thus, our ideas about what is normative and desirable.
Better than anyone, advertisers understand the power of images.