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Teen Pregnancies Blamed on TV Shows

THE CLAIM: Teenagers who watch 'sexy' television programmes are being led into early pregnancies, RAND researchers have claimed. The show "Sex and the City" is fingered.

THE TRUTH: Teen pregnancies in the United States had declined for 15 years before rising in 2006 — the most recent year tabulated and, interestingly, two years after the last episode of "Sex in the City" — in what experts said might be a blip. Musta been those racy reruns.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Celebrities don't have as much influence as you think. Birth control is stuck in the dark ages (owing to a lack of funding and a general resistance to doing truly new research, birth control methods have not changed dramatically in 30 years). Furthermore, in the real world, teenage sex plus the Pill equals sexually transmitted disease and maybe even pregnancy. Oh, and the Pill makes women pick bad mates.

This article is from the LiveScience Water Cooler: What people are talking about in the world of science and beyond.

Robert Roy Britt
Rob was a writer and editor at starting in 1999. He served as managing editor of Live Science at its launch in 2004. He is now Chief Content Officer overseeing media properties for the sites’ parent company, Purch. Prior to joining the company, Rob was an editor at The Star-Ledger in New Jersey, and in 1998 he was founder and editor of the science news website ExploreZone. He has a journalism degree from Humboldt State University in California.