At what age is it OK for my kid to watch sexy stuff in movies and on TV?

We recommend no sexy stuff for kids under 5. Young kids don't have the context to understand on-screen sexuality, and they may imitate what they see and repeat what they hear even if they don't understand it.

Of course, we all know there's no way to completely shield children from sexual images or messages. They seem to be in every commercial, magazine, song, game -- everything. Sexual content is increasingly reaching younger and younger children as media extends into every nook and cranny of daily life.

It's beneficial to stay involved in your kid's media and talk about what they see, hear, and interact with. A series of studies and research analyses published in the American Academy of Pediatrics' journal Pediatrics shows links between heavy exposure to sexual content and earlier onset of sexual activity. Research also indicates that kids whose parents limit their media tend to consume less and make age-appropriate choices

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Comments

Teen, 13 years old written by cherry mangle

at age 1-5 kids need to not watch movies videos or ads that swear show violance smoke or make dirty jokes and show nude people
Teen, 13 years old written by evrska9

I think that young children should in no way be subject to shows/movies with sexual content. I remember at age 5 watching things like Indiana Jones or Star Wars and the kissing scenes made me cringe a great deal. Of course, my parents were okay with it as long as it didn't escalate. I believe children, tweens, and even younger teens should not be allowed to watch sexually explicit movies/shows.
Parent written by Christie B

When I was a kid and even a young adult living at home, my parents were (and still are) very strict about sexual content. The least hint that something sexual might take place or any nudity at all, and whatever it was was immediately turned off. My parents have come to the point now where they can stand male buttocks being bared in the name of comedy. But that is about it. I do not intend to be that strict, but when I was working as a substitute teacher, I saw firsthand the consequences of letting kids watch sexual content they are not at all ready for. I'll never forget the little girl in PreK who led the others in a game that involved a lot of screaming. I went to check on it and found that they were playing, "we're naked in the shower and the boys all just walked in and saw us." Upon requesting that they play something else, they soon were immersed in a game of "the doctor gives me a boob job." Ay yi yi! The little girl who was the leader listed several very "adult" shows as her inspiration for these games. When she kept trying to lie on a boy and grope the front of him during a movie, I couldn't help but think that those shows had probably given her that idea too. (Don't worry, we stopped her). This is one example of one child only. The truth is, with my super strict upbringing, I'm not really sure when to bring sex into the picture, movie and tv-wise. But I would think maybe 8-10 years old, depending on how graphic? We'll see. And in answer to another comment, birth control doesn't always work (or I wouldn't have a sister, lol) and doesn't prevent against STDs, several of which are still lifetime conditions with no cure in sight. And most of all I would rather my daughter not be giving birth at age 12 like a girl I was in school with did!
Adult written by ghost s.

Why does it matter if there are links between heavy exposure to sexual content, and early sexual activity? Does kids having sex hurt you in some way, as long as they have access to birth-control they should be fine.
Kid, 9 years old

My opinion: Sexy stuff in movies might be ok for ages 8+ but if your strict it's ok for 12+