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TV Taught Me How to Party

Reiner Hanewinkel of the Institute for Therapy and Health Research in Kiel, Germany, recently published the results of a study determining the connection of alcohol use in TV and Movies and binge drinking among kids and teens. This study is reminiscent of our class discussion over whether or not TV shows and Movies teach children behaviors.

The study surveyed 16,000 students from Germany, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Scotland. Researchers asked the students to pick out at least 50 movies or shows they had seen from a list of 600 released between 2004 and 2009 in those countries. The members of the Institue for Therapy and Health Research found 86% of the chosen medias to have at least one scene in which characters drank alcohol. The research team then asked the students about their own binge drinking habits and found that 27% had done it at least once. 10 to 20% of the students who had the lowest exposure to alcohol on screen had participated in binge drinking, whereas 40% of the study participants who had seen the most alcohol in TV and movies had drank excessively.

The researchers concluded that, although, movies and TV shows may make alcohol use seem cool and mature, there is still no definite link between exposure to drinking in media and underage use of alcohol. Other factors that could be linked to child and teen alcohol use include, “their risk-taking behavior, how well they did in school and how much their friends and families drank.” Lesley Smith of Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom, does not think that study’s results should make parents panic over the movies their children are watching, but instead should make them think about changing their own alcohol related behaviors in the house.

Below is a trailer for  a new movie about a wild, high school party, that shows gratuitous use of  teenage drinking, “Project X”

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