Dept. of Wasted Research Time
Here are some shocking findings:
Researchers at the RAND research organization said their three-year study was the first to link viewing of racy television programing with risky sexual behavior by teens.
“Our findings suggest that television may play a significant role in the high rates of teenage pregnancy in the United States,” said Anita Chandra, a behavioral scientist who led the research at RAND, a nonprofit research organization.
“We’re not saying we’re establishing causation, but we are saying this is one factor that we were able to prospectively link to the teen pregnancy outcome,” Chandra said in a phone interview.
Every study that looks at kids’ entertainment choices and compares them to kids’ lives will find similarities. The core problem is that it’s completely unclear whether the entertainment causes the behavior (kid sees risky sex on TV, is convinced it’s a swell idea, impregnates girlfriend), or if kids are drawn to the entertainment because they’re already drawn to the behavior (kid thinks risky sex is a swell idea, so he both watches it on TV and impregnates his girlfriend).
Why aren’t our academics and private researchers studying this matter in a way that could disentangle those, instead of re-treading the same old ground?