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Teen pregnancy linked to TV new study finds

pregnancytv.gifA new US study has found that teenage girls who watch a larger than average amount of sexually charged TV were twice as likely to have a teenage pregnancy. Boys who watched a greater amount were also more like to be responsible for a pregnancy.

While TV consumption may indiciate another key factor - such as parental's influence or religious view - the findings will doubtless encourage debate, especially in the UK, which has Western Europe's highest teenage pregnancy rate (six times the level of the Netherlands). The report's author Dr Chandra added: "Sexual content on TV has doubled in the last few years, especially during the period of our research. We found a strong association."

The report did not examine the effects of the Internet, but is likely to support Australia's controversial attempts to filter all web content at ISP level so no under 18 year old may have access to pornography. The system has run into considerable criticism because the government has argued that if they are able to filter out some content, they have a responsibility to filter out all content that they deem illegal under Australian law - creating a full web firewall similar to those found in Burma and China. Such robotic filters, which are automated given the millions of new web pages appearing each day, are estimated to classify at least a few percent of sites incorrectly, and could be used by governments as a form of 'censorship creep'.