Magazine article USA TODAY

TV Show Spurs Quality Sex Talk

Magazine article USA TODAY

TV Show Spurs Quality Sex Talk

Article excerpt

"What would Samantha and Miranda do?" That is what viewers of the former series "Sex and the City" may ask themselves when faced with the prospect of uncomfortable discussions about sexual health with partners, friends, and doctors. Researchers found that college students were more than twice as likely to talk about sexual health issues with their partners after watching a "Sex and the City" episode featuring the characters Samantha and Miranda having similar conversations, compared to students who saw different episodes.

"One of the powerful things about entertainment programming is that it can get people talking about important issues that they might not otherwise talk about," says Emily Guse, assistant professor of communication at Ohio State University, Columbus, and lead author of the study. The key is that the TV show cannot just raise the topic of sexual health--the characters have to be shown having frank discussions with their friends, partners, or physicians. …

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