London: Parents may consider music videos a harmless pastime for their teenaged kids but they may negatively impact their sexual behaviour as they objectify women and promote sexual activities involving men, says a study.
Researchers from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium found that watching music videos definitely had an influence on how sexually active boys and girls thought peers of the same sex were.
"It made them believe that many of their friends were also sexually active - even though this might, of course, not be true," said study co-author and PhD student Eline Frison in a paper that was published in Springer's journal Sex Roles.
Over the course of one year, the researchers gathered information three times from 515 Belgian teenagers between ages 12 and 15.
They were asked how much music television they watched, how sexually active they were and indeed also how sexually active they thought their peers were.
The researchers found that watching sexual music videos only had an effect on the sexual behaviour of teenaged boys but not on girls.
They believe such behaviour is influenced by the sexual scripts of music videos, which tend to show men taking the more active role in any sexual interaction.
This, in turn, made the boys watch even more such television.
On the other hand, girls seemingly did not want to be reminded too much about what their boyfriends might be up to, and they preferred to switch off these programmes.
This might be a type of defence reaction on the part of girls who believe that many male peers are sexually active.
"Regarding the influence of music television exposure on sexual behaviour, our findings suggest that increased sexual activities may be triggered by media use among boys, but not among girls," Frison added.