"Females who have been regularly sent these types of messages should be especially likely to attend to the negatives of being a young mother depicted on '16 and Pregnant' and 'Teen Mom.'"
No interaction was found in the study between mother-daughter sexual communication, viewing frequency and recent intercourse behavior.
"In this study, there was only what we call an 'interaction' for fathers," Wright said. "But this doesn't mean that mother-daughter communication is irrelevant. There are other studies showing that the more moms communicate about sex, the less likely it is their daughters will either have sex or engage in risky sex."
For this study, survey data were collected from 313 female undergraduates at two universities in the southwestern United States. All participants were unmarried. About 40 percent were 19 or younger. About 75 percent were 21 or younger. College students are a key audience for MTV.
White participants comprised 56.5 percent of the sample, while others were Hispanic (18.5 percent), Asian (13.1 percent), African-American (4.2 percent) and Middle Eastern (1 percent). Whites were more likely than nonwhites to view both programs, which may be because most of the mothers on the programs also are white.
Nearly 65 percent of the women identified themselves as being Christian; 4.8 percent were Jewish; 1.9 percent were Buddhist; 1.3 percent, Muslim; and 0.6 percent, Hindu. Fifteen percent said they belonged to another religion and 11.5 were not religious.
Wright's previous research supports the hypotheses that mainstream media's portrayal of sex as a recreational activity without consequences has contributed to risky behavior among young people. His research also focuses on the role of parents in the sexual development of thei