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Teens getting sex ed from TV good news, according to Austin Peay prof

November 11, 2003


According to a study by Rand Corp., a nonprofit research group, teenagers are getting useful information about sex from entertainment programs, like Friends.

According to Rands Television and Adolescent Sexuality study, teens who watched the Friends episode that included a pregnancy caused by condom failure remembered the lesson.
November 11, 2003


According to a study by Rand Corp., a nonprofit research group, teenagers are getting useful information about sex from entertainment programs, like “Friends.”

According to Rand's Television and Adolescent Sexuality study, teens who watched the “Friends” episode that included a pregnancy caused by condom failure remembered the lesson.

In the episode, Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) becomes pregnant after having sex with ex-boyfriend Ross (David Schwimmer) even though he had used a condom. Twice, they mention condoms are “only 97 percent effective.”

Of the teens who remembered seeing the episode, 65 percent remembered Rachel's pregnancy was caused by condom failure. Of those who discussed it with an adult, almost half remembered condoms were described as more than 95 percent effective.

The survey results were good news to Glenn Carter, professor of social work and social work program director at Austin Peay State University.

“Unfortunately, a lot of young people watch the irresponsible soaps, where no one uses a condom and almost no one gets pregnant. And never does one get an STI (sexually transmitted infection),” he says. “I commend ‘Friends' for the episode.

“A lot of young people and not-so-young now know that condoms are not 100 percent effective, but they are better than nothing at all. I just hope no one thinks, why bother with a condom when your partner can get pregnant anyway?”
—Rebecca Mackey