Media effects on teens and sex
While all age groups potentially could be affected by sexual messages on television, adolescents may be particularly vulnerable for a number of reasons. First, teens may not be sufficiently cognitively developed to discern and critique messages from television 1. Second, these messages are bombarding teens at a stage when they are in the midst of developing their values and beliefs around gender roles, sexual behaviours and attitudes. Further, we know that teens spend a great deal of time watching television.
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There is growing concern about young people's exposure to sexual content through television and other electronic media and about its potential effects on their sexual attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Researchers have documented the growing prevalence of sexual talk and portrayals of sexual behavior in televised media, as well as associations between adolescent viewing patterns and their sexual activities. We reviewed the current scientific literature on adolescents and sex in the media—using searches of MEDLINE—and the psychological and media literature. The emphasis was on rigorous research and included accessing the expertise of health care professionals and other knowledgeable sources on the media. The available research does not adequately address the effects of exposure to sexual content in the media on adolescent beliefs, knowledge, intentions, and behaviors. Similarly, research on sexual content of the Internet, in video games or other handheld devices, or in the multitude of other electronic media has been scant. Although sexual content in the media can affect any age group, adolescents may be particularly vulnerable.
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References Appendix: Other Studies in Progress. Department of Health and Human Services. The goal of the task order is to develop a working knowledge base about the use of new media such as the Internet, social networking sites, cell phones, online video games, and MP3 players among adolescents and the potential impact on their sexual activity. The literature review presented in this paper has the specific goals of 1 fostering an understanding of the types of new media available to adolescents, outlining both the platforms that adolescents use to access media and the media itself, and 2 illuminating the potential relations between new media and adolescent sexual activity. Sexual risk behavior among U.
Children and teenagers who are exposed to sex through the media are more likely to engage in sexual activity than those who are not, according to new research. A study by an American team has found a direct relationship between the amount of sexual content children see and their level of sexual activity or their intentions to have sex in the future. The survey, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health and online, claims that film, television, music and magazines may act as a kind of "sexual super peer" for teenagers seeking information about sex. It also suggests that the media have at least as great an influence on sexual behaviour as religion or a child's relationship with their parents and peers. More than 1, American children between the ages of 12 and 15 were asked to list the kinds of media they were exposed to regularly.