The second study, described below, took this approach.
The results also showed that talk about sex on TV had virtually the same effect on teen behavior as depictions of sexual activity.
This finding runs counter to the widespread belief that portrayals of action have a more powerful impact than talk.
In effect, youths who watched the most sexual content “acted older”: a 12-year-old at the highest levels of exposure behaved like a 14- or 15-year-old at the lowest levels.
The study also identified other factors that increased the likelihood that teens would initiate intercourse, including being older, having older friends, getting lower grades, engaging in rule-breaking such as skipping class, and sensationseeking.
Yet, despite the prevalence of this view, there has been little empirical study to date of how watching sex on television influences teenagers’ sexual behavior.