Joshua FOGEL* & Lyudmila KOVALENKO
Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Reality television shows are very popular and often contain content about sexual behavior. We study the watching of reality television dating shows and sexual relationship shows with sexual behavior of one-night stands. College students (n=578) were surveyed about their reality television watching habits and also their connection and interest with media characters. Those who watched reality television sexual relationship shows as compared to those who did not had greater odds to engage in one-night stands (OR:2.16, 95% CI:1.21, 3.83, p=0.01). However, there was no significant difference for engaging in one-night stands among those who did or did not watch reality television dating shows. Also, there was an overall pattern for those who watched reality television sexual relationship shows to have greater identification with media characters portrayed on these shows. In addition to moral considerations, one-night stands can place individuals at greater risk for sexually transmitted infections. As television can have a strong influence on young adults, we suggest that psychology and public health organizations consider advocating for reality television shows of such genre to limit viewer exposure to sexual insinuations during these shows.
Keywords: sexual behavior; permissiveness; television; mass media