Temptation Island, The Bachelor, Joe Millionaire: A Prospective Cohort Study on the Role of Romantically Themed Reality Television in Adolescents' Sexual Development
This 3-year panel study among 498 adolescents explored the motives for and effects of viewing romantically themed reality television (RTRT). Viewing RTRT was predicted by television dependency and viewing frequencies, but not by connectedness to peers and viewing motives. Viewing RTRT, in turn, predicted communication with peers about sex among girls, and higher estimations of peers' sexual activities among boys one year later. However, viewing RTRT did not predict stereotypical romantic attitudes. The need to explore the longitudinal relationships between television viewing and adolescents' sexuality, with special attention toward the emergence of gender differences in these relationships, is discussed.