Tue, May 30, 2006 - Page 5 News List

Showing at Aussie cinemas now: sex, drugs and cigarettes


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.

They found that 8 percent included scenes involving smoking cannabis, 7 percent had episodes of other forms of non-injecting drug use, 32 percent showed actors drunk and 68 percent had actors smoking cigarettes.

"I'm not saying there should be no sex or drugs in movies," Hasantha Gunasekera said presenting his finding at a meeting of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

"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," he said.

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

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

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