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 is an independent health and science journalist and writer based in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a former editor-in-chief of Live Science with over 20 years of experience as a reporter and editor. He has worked on websites such as Space.com and Tom's Guide, and is a contributor on Medium (opens in new tab), covering how we age and how to optimize the mind and body through time. He has a journalism degree from Humboldt State University in California.