Sexy reasons to move the boob tube out of the bedroom | Sex in the Suburbs

I’ve always opposed TVs in the bedroom, especially kids’ bedrooms. As a parent educator, I have mountains of information about why it’s better to keep the TV somewhere else in the house for any number of reasons: Sleep habits, discipline, monitoring viewing habits and content, etc.

For those of you who want “sexier” reasons to move that TV, here are three research studies that back me up in regards to healthy sexuality:

• Reason #1: A study of more than 1,000 middle school students showed that having a television in their bedrooms was a significant predictor of engaging in sex and smoking for white teens (black teens did not have a correlation between these behaviors). The study showed that white teens with TVs in their bedrooms were twice as likely to engage in sex compared to peers without the bedroom boob tube, and three times as likely to be sexually active if they perceived “low parental engagement,” according to an RTI International news release.

• Reason #2: A RAND study showed that “adolescents who have high levels of exposure to television programs that contain sexual content are twice as likely to be involved in a pregnancy over the following three years as their peers who watch few such shows.” The study showed that, while sexual content on television has doubled in recent years, the portrayal of contraceptive use and safer sex practices is sparse.

If teens are counting on TV for their sexuality education, they will get little information about the consequences of unprotected sexual activity from shows they watch on television. They will, however, be exposed to a lot of unrealistic and romanticized scenarios. (Note: This is another reason why widely available comprehensive sexuality education, which focuses on abstinence and teaches consequences of unprotected sexual activity and methods for safer sex, is so crucial).

According to the RTI study, two-thirds of American teens have televisions in their bedrooms. This practice is associated with many more hours of viewing per week than those who must view TV in another room. Teens with TVs in their bedrooms also have less parental supervision of what is watched. In addition, children and teens with TVs in their bedrooms are also less likely to engage in healthy behaviors such as eating healthy foods and exercise — plus, they tend to have lower GPAs.

And just in case that’s not enough reason to get TVs out of bedrooms at your house, check this out:

• Reason #3: Italian researchers recently found that couples without a TV in their bedrooms have sex twice as often as those who do. In the over-50 crowd, having a TV in the bedroom plummets the average frequency of sexual intercourse from seven times a month to 1.5 (Reuters, 2006).

Give a boost to everyone’s healthy sexuality in your house, and get those TVs out of the bedrooms.

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