The importance of erotic TV programs to young people is overestimated. This is the main finding of a depth-psychological study titled "Youth Protection and TV Eroticism" which our institute carried out for Premiere, a German pay-TV network. Eroticism on TV does not address the most pressing issues facing adolescents. As a result, unlike with adults, it is not the focus of interest. Young people look in the media for help for their lives, assistance in dealing with issues such as first love, jealousy, problems with partners or in groups. Soap operas such as "Verbotene Liebe" and "Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten," as well as magazine programs such as "Bravo TV" cater more to their interests than erotic movies.
The study shows that young people are critical of the cliché roles and attitudes toward life conveyed by erotic TV formats. In fact, like generations of young people before them, they see their ways of living and loving as being different from those of adults. Despite or precisely because of sexual promiscuity in our culture, young people today put a lot of stock in loyalty, solidarity, and stricter morals in partnerships.
Adults, on the other hand, seek in TV eroticism compensatory moments of happiness and a (maturbatory) kick denied them in their lives. Another finding of the study: even 20 years after the sexual revolution, people are still not dealing with their own sexuality in depth. Fear of one's own sexuality and of violating the family incest taboo give rise to a disturbed sexual climate in most families. Many parents delegate sexual education of their children to schools, and above all, to the media. As a result, the media are held responsible. TV networks should show educational formats geared to young people, programs which address the entire spectrum of issues important to youth.