A terse article reviewing two recent studies that reiterate two facts well known by social scientists for years: Both teen smoking and early and frequent unsafe sex happen more readily among kids who watch many mainline movies where sex and smoking are glamorized. The key here is that smoking and sex become normalized by the constant viewing of these films, and any ill effects are never mentioned.
The study on teen smoking goes even further to offer a very simple if partial solution: When any movie with smoking in it is rated R instead of PG 13, then teen smoking drops by 18%.
It is perplexing to read one comment by a reader of this piece: “bs,” the commentator Mikey writes, “if parents raise thiere (sic) kids instead of letting everyone else do it they wouldn’t be smoking or having sex too early, and the would know about condom.” Where does Mikey live? It really does take a village to raise a child. Parents have relied on others in their community since time out of mind to facilitate them in raiding their offspring, most often other family members, neighbors and teachers. But the issue afoot in modern times is that in many households the media has taken over the village, carpet bombing it with troubling and misleading messages.