In the early 1970s, studies reported that, since 1945, 99 percent of the homes in the United States had acquired at least one television set (Mander, 1978, p.24). Television has now become the leading vehicle for disseminating information to Americans. Although many people place little importance on television's implantation of the images in their brains, research has shown that humans slowly turn into whatever images they carry in their minds. The images they see on television are conveyed to their brains by light; and the proof that these images are ingrained in their brains is demonstrated by the fact that they often have vivid memories of the things which they see on television. For instance, many children recall seeing their first romantic kisses on television. And the images which children see on television becomes the mirror against which they later compare their own behavior. Some researchers now believe that people become what they see; in other words, they evolve into the images which they see on television. Author Carl Lowe writes, "It has now been established that children will imitate behavior they see on television moreover it has also been established that they younger the child, the more likely he or she is to believe the commercials, to confuse them with programming fare" (Lowe, 1981, p. 118).
Also, if children view people kissing passionately on television or a young virgin girl being presented as a present to a much older man, such as in the movie Pretty Baby (when it was shown on television), those children may later emulate that behavior. Yet those young children may not actually be emotionally mature enough to handle the consequences of a sexual relationship. For example, if children view sexual promiscuity on television, they may be inclined to think that such behavior is not only normal, but also expected of them. So one problem with they portrayal of sexual acts on television is that many programs which are intended for adults are viewed by children; and yet the children do not understand that there may now be life-threatening repercussions; specifically, a teenager could contract AIDS by engaging in sexual activity.