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Study: Television Shows Depict More Sex

A study released this morning in Los Angeles shows sex on television is heating up, but more TV programs are including the risks and responsibilities of sexual behavior.

The Kaiser Family Foundation reports the percentage of shows depicting or implying sexual intercourse rose from ten percent two years ago to 14 percent in the 2001-2002 season. The study finds the rate is even higher for the 20 top shows among teenage viewers. One in five of those programs, or 20 percent, include implied or depicted intercourse.

The foundation´s initial TV sex study, released in 1999, found that seven percent of shows overall included intercourse. Previous studies did not detail figures for shows favored by teenagers. The biennial study says that if television is becoming more boldly titillating, it´s also more honest.

Among shows with depictions or talk about intercourse, 26 percent had a “safer sex” reference to topics such as abstinence or possible fallout from unprotected sex. That´s double the rate found four years ago.