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On-screen sex, drug images examined

October 04, 2005|From Associated Press

LONDON — Hollywood might be bad for your health, according to a new study, which concludes that blockbuster movies paint a consequence-free view of sex and drugs.

Dr. Hasantha Gunasekera, the study's lead author from the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney, said the findings are troubling, "given the HIV and illicit drug pandemics in developing and industrialized countries."

The Australian researchers reported in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine that their study of top-grossing films released since 1983 and featuring sex scenes found that only one -- 1990's "Pretty Woman," about a prostitute -- contained a "suggestion of condom use, which was the only reference to any form of birth control."

"There were no depictions of important consequences of unprotected sex such as unwanted pregnancies, HIV or other STDs," they said.

Just over half the marijuana scenes they found -- 52% -- showed use of the drug in a positive way. In the other 48% of cases it was depicted as neutral.

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