By Serena Kappes
Updated May 26, 1998 12:00 AM
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It may not come as a surprise, but a new study, released on Tuesday, says that U.S. television shows have dramatically increased their sexual content. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (an independent philanthropic group which studies issues of social mores) conducted the study, called “Sex on TV: Content and Context,” which entailed examining 1,114 shows airing from October 1999 to March 2000, according to Reuters. Its findings? The biggest increase in sexual content came from sitcoms, whose share rose to 84 percent of all episodes (up from 56 percent). Overall, there was an increase from half the TV shows featuring sexual content in 1997-98, to 68 percent, reports the Associated Press. And what about dealing with messages about safe sex? Kaiser Family Foundation Vice President Victoria Rideout said in a statement, “While some shows are taking advantage of that opportunity, nine out of 10 are not.” Surprisingly, the only two TV genres to drop in their levels of sexual content were talk shows (from 78 percent to 67 percent) and soap operas (from 85 to 80 percent), says the AP.