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Sex, drugs and smoking at a cinema near you

By Abrad, May 30, 2006 | |
  1. Abrad
    www.int.iol.co.za
    Sydney - There's a surfeit of unprotected sex, drugs and cigarettes at a cinema near you, Australian research suggests.

    Sydney University researchers looked at 87 popular films screened in the last 20 years and found only one suggestion of condom use in the 53 sex scenes depicted.

    Eight per cent included scenes involving smoking cannabis, seven percent had episodes of other forms of non-injecting drug use, 32 percent showed actors drunk and 68 percent had actors smoking cigarettes.

    Presenting his finding in a paper at the annual meeting of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, paediatrician Hasantha Gunasekera said he was not naive enough to think that cinemas should be showing films like The Sound Of Music.

    "I'm not saying there should be no sex or drugs in movies," Dr Gunasekera said.

    "We want movies to be a reflection on life, but if it's a reflection on life people have consequences when they use drugs - there are overdoses, there are unwanted pregnancies for unprotected sex, there is HIV. We didn't see any of those things in these movies."

    Gunasekera said it was ridiculous to think that films aimed at teenagers were not influencing their behaviour.

    "Why aren't the true depictions and the true consequences of these activities actually demonstrated?" he said.

    "There's no reason why when we have a scene of sexual intercourse, for example, we can't have a pack of condoms sitting on the bedside table." - Sapa-dpa

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